The 2011 Babble Mendocino County Red is a $6.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive blend of ZInfandel, Petit Sirah, Syrah and Carignane (one of the main Red grapes of the Languedoc) produced for them by DnA Vineyards. DnA Vineyards is Dennis Patton and Andrea Silverstein, Dennis Patton has been making wine in and out of Mendocino County for over 40 years. The Babble Red has been aged in French and American oak barrels for 16 months, which is a wine fact you almost never see for a $6.99 wine. Most wines in the sub-7 buck category are not aged in oak or have oak chips or oak powder tossed in the tanks for a time, then filtered out before bottling, a Red wine barrel aged for 16 months in this price range, that is not a close-out wine, is rarer than rare. The alcohol content is $13.7%.
The color is nearly opaque crimson red. The nose is dark berries, chocolate, sweet strawberry, smoke from the grill and band aids. The Babble Red has a medium to full bodied wine with bold flavors and pretty decent structure. It tastes of strawberry, plums, blackberry, a little bit of Nestle’s Quik powder and black cherry. The mid palate brings a soft jolt of Altoids spice and tart raspberry. The tannins show up on the mid palate but do not bite and the acidity is hidden by all the fruit flavors until the finish and helps propel a blackberry, raspberry and spice finish along for a fairly long time.
The 2011 Babble Mendocino County Red is a very solid bottle of wine. It is well-made, it tastes great, the grapes in the blend work very well together and it sells for $6.99. It is almost hard to believe, a single AVA wine, aged in oak barrels for 16 months that sells for the everyday price of $6.99. DnA Vineyards packed a lot of value into this bottle.
# The name Babble refers to all the nonsense people say when they talk about wine, so I guess I am guilty as charged