Ménage à Trois Midnight Red 2014

wine midnightThe Ménage à Trois Midnight Red 2014 is a blend of 49% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petite Sirah, and 7% Petit Verdot sourced from more than one California grape growing AVA. The  Ménage à Trois brand was founded about 20 years ago as a left-over wine after the original winery bottled their main line of wines. They took the 3 grapes with the most remaining wine and created a blend and sold it as their value line. 20 years ago that was what amounted for inexpensive wine, that or bulk wine brands. Value wine has evolved over the last 20 years and Ménage à Trois is now owned by Trinchero Family Estates and while the Trois part of the equation is now gone (there a 4 grapes in this blend) the value part is still there. The Midnight Red blend uses Bordeaux grape varietals, except for Petite Sirah, a fairly new grape (around 150 years old) originally from France but widely grown in California. The Midnight Red is an inexpensive take on the very popular style of rich, ripe, extracted wines such as The Prisoner and Meiomi Pinot Noir. This blend is aged “on” French and American oak and the alcohol content is 13.5%.

The color is very dark, it is more black than red. The nose is blackberry, molasses, plum,  a little toasty oak spice, and a late hit of raspberry. I was expecting a mad-dog, over the top, big and bold Red, but while it has ripe, rich flavors there is a decent amount of restraint and balance. It tastes of blackberry, licorice, brown sugar (but not the sugar sweetness), blueberry, and Nestle’s Quik powder. The mid-pale brings a little French vanilla and tart cranberry. The tannins are out-of-the-way and the acidity is in good enough supply to balance all the ripe fruit flavors. This really isn’t a food wine, it will work for burgers, BBQ, and pizza, but this is a sipping wine. The finish is full but does not stick around for too long.

See also  Two Angels Petite Sirah 2017

The  Ménage à Trois Midnight Red 2014 does exactly what it sets out to do, be a ripe, extracted rich Red blend at an affordable price (I found it for $7.99). I was pleased to see that even though this Red is made in a smooth, extracted style, they did not forget balance. The leading practitioners of this style of wine sell in the $20+ range and while the Midnight Red does not have their sourcing and attention to detail it does a real good job for 8 bucks.

 

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

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