33452The 2010 friends.red is a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese sourced from vineyards located in Sonoma County, California. This wine is produced by Pedroncelli Winery, a family owned and operated facility dating back to 1927. The grapes used in the blend seem to change from vintage to vintage, so don’t expect it to be the same year after year. The wine was aged in American oak barrels for 12 months, 70% used barrels, 30% new oak. American oak has a wider grain than French oak and can impart too much oak influence if you are not careful, that is why you see used barrels, used barrels have less to give. The alcohol content is 14.3%.

The color is a dark rich black cherry red. The nose is blackberry, vanilla, bitter chocolate, new leather coat and cold coffee. There is a velvety mouthfeel counterbalanced with fresh, tart fruit. It starts with cherry and raspberry, followed by blackberry dipped in Nestle Quik powder. The mid palate adds pomegranate and a touch of vanilla. The tannins are smooth and there is a solid amount of acidity. The finish starts out strong but fades.

In a perfect world, the friends.red is what all Italian jug wine would be, juicy and delicious and the perfect accompaniment to the family meal. This is a solid, real wine, no gimmicks and nothing fancy, just a good tasting, well made wine sold at an honest price.

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.