The Saved Red Wine 2013 is a project between Scott Campbell, an artist and founder of Saved Tattoo, Brooklyn, New York and Clay Brock, a wine-maker whose resume includes Edna Valley Vineyards, Byron Vineyards, Zaca Mesa and currently Wild Horse Winery. The name Saved does not necessarily have religious overtones, Scott Campbell (his designs have been used by Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs and Kanye West wears his ink) says the name came from the success of the tattoo shop “saved” him from having to work 9 to 5 jobs for a living. There is a blend of 9 grape varietals used in the 2011 and 2012 vintages (the blend for the 2013 vintage has yet to be released), but the grapes used and the % used varies from year to year. The main grapes for the 2011 are 31% Zinfandel, 23% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, 11% Malbec and 10% Merlot. The 2012 had 27% Merlot, 19% Malbec, 17% Syrah and 13% Zinfandel, so each vintage should taste markedly different. The grapes were sourced from multiple high-end grape growing AVA’s, and both vintages were aged in French oak barrels (30% new for 16 months). The alcohol content for the 2011 and 2012 was 15.2% and the 2013 is 15.0%.
The color is a dark but see-thru cherry red. The nose is blackberry, black cherry, plum, oak spice, vanilla with a hint of herbal spice. This is a boldly flavored blend, but almost lean, with a sold structure. It tastes of blackberry, raspberry, black pepper and exotic spice. The mid-palate adds bitter dark chocolate, oak spice, ripe plum and strawberry. The tannins are felt, they can be sensed on the back of the palate, but otherwise stay out-of-the-way. The finish is full and long.
The Saved Red Wine 2013 is a unique Red blend, it isn’t inspired by Bordeaux or the Rhone Valley, it is very 2000s California. The Saved Red is a fruit-forward, flavorful wine, but length and structure have not been forgotten. There is depth and complexity here that you do not find in $10 red blends, the Saved lists for $25 and a check of the web shows it for sale in the $15 to $20 range. The Saved Red is the product of a skilled wine-maker who was free from conventions to create a Red blend that showed the essence of Scott Campbell’s (married to actress Lake Bell) persona.Who knew a guy hanging out at a tattoo parlor could inspire and help create a wine this tasty and complex.