It’s said that ‘God created man; Sam Colt made them equal.’ This is, of course, in reference to Samuel Colt’s invention of the Colt .45 revolver: the first mass-produced, commercially available handheld gun. A weapon that could fit inside a pocket or be strapped to the leg evened the playing field of the ‘Wild West’ era — indeed, even elderly women began carrying the piece.

Wine is more like snowflakes than bullets — no two are created equal. But what Ammunition has done is even the playing field for the wine drinker, crafting an Old World-inspired red blend that fits in with the modern palate (and budget).  With all the strength of character known to the Rhone and the finesse associated with the Left Bank of Bordeaux, The Equalizer bridges the gap between the two styles. And yet, with all that depth and complexity, this red blend is, at the end of the day, a fun and easy drinker.

What’s your Ammunition? Mine: a good workout

About the Wine: The Ammunition Wine 2014 Equalizer Red Blend is made from 65% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah, 8% Petite Syrah, and 4% Malbec grapes harvested from various vineyards throughout Sonoma County. The wine was aged in combination new and seasoned French oak barrels (Merlot seeing about 60% new oak; Cab and Syrah seeing about 80 to 90% new oak). The final blend was created 3 months prior to bottling.

13.9% ABV

Flavor Profile: In the glass, the Ammunition Wine 2014 Equalizer Red Blend is the very definition of the color red. Initial aromas are reminiscent of a field of wildflowers blowing about in a summer wind. Swirl, and the wine releases notes of herbaceous eucalyptus, blackberries, boysenberries, and just the faintest hint at something a bit more indulgent like dark cacao or coffee beans.

On the palate, this unique red blend is soft, round, full, with just a teasing tannic texture, as if painting a picture with pointillism on the tongue. Dominant flavors are of black cherry, vanilla, eucalyptus leaf, green vegetables, and fresh cut wood. The body is certainly medium, with a thin but strong line of acidity that elevates all the flavors listed above. The pointillism-like tannins are stronger than, say, the Ammunition Wine 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, and yet they are by no means cloying, gripping, or dominating. The finish is solid on the tongue, but lingering in the aftertaste with an aromatic breath of sweet prunes.

Food Pairing: The Ammunition Wine 2014 Equalizer Red Blend will love gamey meats. I’m specifically thinking lamb, with its thready texture and innate juiciness, especially when seasoned with fresh, Mediterranean herbs (thyme, tarragon, oregano). The texture of the lamb will do well to further subside those tannins, calling forth the more fruity, juicy elements in the wine. Meanwhile, the fresh herbs will play up the earthy components that seem to just linger in the background of the wine. Accompany this lamb with roasted beetroot, as its natural sugars and connection to the underground will, again, play with the fruits and earth in the wine.

What does winemaker Andy Wahl likes to drink with his red blend? Tri-tip. “I make a pretty good tri-tip,” he says, “even had all my sister-in-laws tell me that it is the best BBQ — better than all three of my brothers. So that’s a prideful win for me.”

So…dinner at Andy’s?

More Info: Read the story behind Ammunition and tell us — what’s your Ammunition? Tell us and enter to win an Ammunition Huntsman Tier level Wine Club Membership for one year.

I received the Ammunition Wine 2014 Equalizer Red Blend as a sample for review. (Cheers David!) Price: $23. For more information about Ammunition Wine and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Ammunition Wine website.


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