The 2010 BB King Signature Selection Red Blend is a mix of Garnacha Tintorera (not the same as Garnacha/Grenache, but a cross of Garnacha and Petit Bouschet, also known as Alicante Bouschet) and Syrah with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon added in. This wine is produced for BB King by Bodega Santa Cruz de Alpera located in the Almansa (DO) inside the larger Castile-LaMancha (DO) in Southeast Spain. Garnacha Tintorera is the main Red grape grown in Almansa and Bodega Santa Cruz hand selects grapes from Garnacha Tintorera vines that are at least 60 years old. The blend was aged in French and American oak for 12 months and the alcohol content is $13.5%. These wines are currently available in Memphis and Nashville and online at Vinport, but will soon be available everywhere, it lists for $13.99.
The color is a rich raspberry jam red. The nose is blueberry jelly, herbal tea, cigar tobacco and cherry pie. The flavor is familiar, yet different, it tastes of blackberry, raisin spice, a little unsweetened cola and POM Wonderful. The mid-palate transitions to a dose of subdued curry spice and spiced apple cake (not sweet). The tannins are very well balanced, you can feel them, but they don’t bite and give the wine solid structure. The acidity is also well balanced and does help the berry and spice finish to linger for an impressively long time.
I couldn’t figure out why Memphis, Tennessee’s favorite son, BB King, was coming out with his own line of Spanish wines, until I tasted them and then it all became clear. I thought we obviously would get a Zinfandel based blend that would rock down home BBQ, but instead we got something unique, subtle, well structured, very tasty, with a touch of class that would still rock the BBQ. Your local wine shop will have several Zin based BBQ friendly wines on the shelves, but there will only be one wine like the BB King Signature Collection Red and that is the way it should be. So, when you got the blues so bad that nobody loves you but your Mother and she might be jiving you, too, pour yourself a glass of BB King Signature Collection Red, things will get better.
this wine was received as a sample