The Locations “I” (Italy) Red Blend is a blend of Negroamaro and Nero d’Avoloa from Puglia Southern Italy and Barbera from Piedmont in Northwest Italy. Italy is a land of 2,000 indigenous grapes that have existed very happily until Dave Phinney hit. This is an Italian wine made with California rules. This ain’t DOCG, this ain’t DOC, and this ain’t IGT. This is table wine, and if you didn’t know it, every wine in California from the most expensive Napa Red to Mad Dog 20/20 is designated table wine. California doesn’t care what the rules and regulations are, it’s what’s in the bottle. Italy’s not that way – designating a wine as “table wine” is usually punishment for not following the rules. Sometimes not following the rules has its own rewards. Dave Phinney is the guy behind Orin Swift and Prisoner wine, who has made his mark in California and has now made a beachhead in Europe. This stop – Italy. This blend is aged for 10 months in oak and has a hefty 14.5% ABV.
This blend is an opaque red, almost black ink in color with notes of blackberry, black cherry and every other black fruit on the nose. A sip reveals more black cherry, a mid-palate of spice and tart cherry, and finishes with a nice cinnamon and nutmeg spice finish. The acidity is nicely balanced with the tannins and it makes for a very approachable yet robust red blend.
This is a great Italian blend for California blend fans, and it pairs nicely with deep dish and Fettucine Alfredo. This is a non-traditional red blend that would never, ever, be made by an Italian winemaker – but maybe SHOULD be.