Brian Demay’s Wine Wednesday: The Culprit

Every now and then I just grab a bottle of wine on a whim. Maybe the description grabs me, or the label. I don’t recommend this every time, but sometimes it helps to get out of our comfort zone a bit, and try something new.

Over the weekend I grabbed this strange looking bottle, it’s called The Culprit, and it’s got a gargoyle on the label (and it was only $15…)  so I thought, what the heck.

What a pleasant surprise it was!

This wine drinks way more than $15. With select grapes from all over California’s North Coast, The Culprit has big, bold and intense flavors that were totally unexpected – and extremely welcome! This is quite a blend with mostly Syrah and Zinfandel, blended with Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Grenache, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Primitivo and Merlot. I have never heard of a blend of those grapes before this.

The first thing you smell when you open the bottle is fresh, ripe raspberries. But it tastes more like blackberry jam and deep, dark chocolate, with hints of cherry, cranberry, and strawberry. Delectable, fruit-forward, but not sweet at all – velvety tannins and spice balance the fruit – is that clove I taste? – and I was surprised how long, lingering and smooth the finish was considering the price.

On my five-cork scale based on taste and value, The Culprit gets 3.9 corks! The QPR on this wine is phenomenal. Look for the smirking gargoyle on the label, and stock up!

If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party coming soon! Usually, I host a wine dinner every month, and we feature several interesting wines, each paired with a delicious course. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!

Local Weather