The 14 Hands Hot To Trot Red Blend 2018 is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 19% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot sourced from vineyards through the Columbia Valley AVA in Washington. The name 14 Hands refers to the wild horses that at one time roamed free in the area. One of the AVAs inside the Columbia Valley AVA is called Horse Heaven Hills.
They measure the height of horses in hands or the average size of the palm of a hand. 14 hands are on the small side for horses, tall for a pony, and short for a horse. The wild horses are gone, but vineyards took their place so it could be worse.
The 14 Hands brand is owned by Chateau Ste. Michelle is the largest wine producer in Washington State. Chateau Ste Michelle was recently purchased for over a billion dollars by a private equity firm, before that they were owned by a tobacco company for 40 years.
The 14 Hands Hot To Trot Red Blend 2018 is produced at the 14 Hands winery, most brands are made along with a score of other brands at a central location, but 14 Hands has its own facilities. They offer a full line of wines including reserve wines and can wines.
The blend for the 14 Hands Hot To Trot Red Blend 2018 is interesting, it is a classic Bordeaux blend with the surprising addition of Syrah. Syrah grows very well in the Columbia Valley, so it looks like they took the best grapes they had to produce this blend. Maybe all Bordeaux blends can use a little ripe, juicy Syrah.
The 14 Hands Hot To Trot Red Blend 2018 was aged 10 months in a combination of stainless steel vats and neutral French and American oak barrels. Neutral oak barrels have given off all the oak flavoring they had to give. Stainless steel vats are air-tight and do not allow any oxygen to pass through. Oak barrels are water-tight, but not completely air-tight and that difference creates differences in the wine.
The 2018 vintage is the current release which gives this Red blend a good deal of age for a wine I found for, under ten dollars, the list price is $15 but should be readily found for less. The extra time needed for the wine to find its balance indicates that the wine was produced with more advanced production techniques than the typical drink-it-now wine. It also indicates that they did not cut corners to make this bend. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The 14 Hands Hot To Trot Red Blend 2018 Tasting Notes
The color is a clear cherry red with black highlights. The nose is ripe blackberry, light herbs, licorice, blueberry, red berries, mint, and tea. The 14 Hands Hot To Trot Red Blend 2018 is very smooth on the palate, with firm tannins and rich flavors.
This Red Blend tastes like ripe blackberry, jammy raspberry, those red hard candies with the liquid centers that your grandma had, red licorice, black cherry, soft spice, and ripe plum. All the flavor is upfront this wine does not transition, but I do not mind since what is upfront is very tasty.
The tannins provide structure but do not interfere with the flavor profile. The acidity allows the flavors to unfold.
- The 14 Hands Hot To Trot Red Blend 2018 bills itself as a “smooth Red blend” and it does what it claims.
- This is a “fun” wine made to be enjoyed, and it does what it sets out to do.
- The 14 Hands Hot To Trot Red Blend 2018 is a solid choice when looking for a value-priced Red Blend.