The StoryThe Inverted Red Blend 2017 is an ALDI $6.99 wine sourced from vineyards in the Central Coast AVA of California. And that is about all I know about this wine. It does not show up on the internet or under COLA name search, except there was an Inverted Red blend out of the Monterey AVA for the 2014 vintage.That version of the Inverted Red blend seems to exist for only one year, does it have any relation to this ALDI Red? I do not know. Again the website for the 2014 Inverted wine was blocked due to a possibly malicious site. That typically occurs when the company goes out of business or shuts down a division and does not terminate the website and unsavory folks move in.So, we have a $6.99 ALDI Red Blend with very nice packaging, it would like right at home at a wine retail shop, ALDI seems to have stepped its game up. The back label is the only information available it says the grapes are estate fruit (possibly a winery from Greenfield, California) and mentions mocha flavors and spice along with cherry and blueberries. So, if I were to guess I would think there is some Zinfandel or Syrah, Petite Sirah, possibly Merlot along with some sort of oak aging and conditioning.You never know, unless they specifically spell it out, if a sub ten dollar Red wine was aged in actual oak barrels or received the flavoring from another method. There is a chemical additive called MOCHA that adds French oak spice and a chocolate/coffee flavor to the wine. I have no idea if something like that was used, but today winemakers have gotten very good at giving inexpensive wine a solid dose of oak flavoring. The tasting/technical notes for these wines almost never explicitly detail which methods are used.Since nobody is spelling out the Inverted Red Blend 2017 details we will have to taste it to gather our information. I am expecting it to be enjoyable, the Central Coast AVA is a great place to source grapes for drink-it-now everyday value-priced wine. And there is not much excuse for a sub-par Red blend since they winemaker gets to pick and choose the grapes that are used. A good winemaker should be able to produce a wine that is greater than the sum of its parts. The alcohol content is 13.5%.Inverted Red Blend 2017 Tasting NotesThe color is an opaque black cherry red with an emphasis on black. The nose is dark and slightly smokey, there is black cherry, plum, and spice, followed by toasty vanilla, and dark chocolate. This is a wine that starts out heavy on the palate then lightens up, sort of like it has 2 sides, is this where the Inverted name comes from? It starts with ripe blueberry and black pepper, then jammy raspberry and spice. The mid-palate offers up dusty chocolate powder, and little cherries in cream, and orange zest. The tannins are in the mix but do not bite, the acidity allows the flavors to unfold. The finish is strong and lengthy.The Summary * I always go into these very inexpensive Red wines expecting one thing and getting another. * I usually expect that oak barrels are not used in the making of these wines, barrels are expensive and they add costs to the wine that I don't see how a $6.99 selling price can recoup. But if oak barrels were not used here then they did an excellent job of creating the allusion. * This is a worthy Red blend that happens to sell for $6.99.
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