The 2013 Black Ink Red is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Malbec and Zinfandel sourced from more than one California grape growing Ava. When 85% of the grapes in the bottle come from one AVA (such as Napa, Lodi, Paso Robles, etc..), then you will see that AVA shown on the front label. If none of the grapes reach 85% then the wine is designated a California wine. Black Ink is a brand wine aimed at Millennials and that is not a bad thing. Millennials really like wine and any winery catering to this demographic has to put some effort into the final product. It was not too long ago that Brand wines were hit or miss, today they tend to be crowd pleasing value wine. The Black Ink website has no information other than a 1700s drawing of a squid and the motto, “Exotic, Decadent, Mysterious“. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a shiny barely see-thru black cherry red, not quite black ink, but close enough. The nose is blackberry, toasty vanilla, raspberry and cherry with a touch of dark chocolate. The Black Ink Red is an unexpected potpourri of flavors, medium bodied and dry, it has a mix of super ripe and more subdued fruit. It starts with plums and ripe cherry (think Michigan farm-stand in the Fall), rich blackberry, licorice, raspberry hard candies (but not too sweet) and a little caramel and blueberry. The tannins are there, but they blend in well with the body of the wine and there is enough acidity to work with food. The finish is full and never really goes away.
The 2013 Black Ink Red Blend is a bold, but not over the top, tasty Red wine. The label looks like something out of the opening credits the pirate show, Black Sails on Starz. But this is not pirate grog, Black Ink is more at home on a cool Fall evening with friends gathered around the fire pit. A Red blend, under ten bucks, that is rich and juicy while still retaining good portion of balance. I would pair this with steak fajitas or maybe pork tenderloin with a spicy glaze.