True story: I was perusing the wine aisles at Costco looking for my fav generic red blend when a Costco employee stopped to ask if he could help. Turns out they didn’t have what I was looking for. “But,” he says, “if you like that, you’ll love Tractor Shed Red.”I kinda looked at him like he was crazy-go-nuts. The thing you have to know about me is that I find blends — of any kind — hard. In my experience, everyday blends found at the local shops with cute, funky labels listed at under $20 tend to be…imbalanced. Imbalanced in aroma, taste, texture, and ultimately enjoyability.
So the fact that I even had, what I’d call, a “favorite” red blend was kind of a big deal — and I was willing to deal with the fact that they did not have it in stock. But the Tractor Shed Red price was right for experimenting, so I took a bottle home. Now, every time I go to Costco, I take two.
About the Wine: This is the epitome of a red blend. Tudal Family Winery has been making this wine since 1997 utilizing grapes from various vineyards throughout the Napa Valley. They don’t exactly tell us what grapes are used, simply stating it’s a “blending of noble Bordeaux and Italian-style varietals.” It must be a Tudal Family secret formula. Whatever that formula is, they got it right.
But they do proudly proclaim that the image on the front label is of an old ’47 Massey-Harris Red Tractor that the original winemaker, Baci” Cerruti back in ’47. Apparently it’s still standing outside of the infamous Tractor Shed.
This wine is simply labeled “red blend” and is produced and bottled in St. Helena, CA. 14.3% Alcohol.
Flavor Profile: In the glass, this wine is a thick, congealed blood red (have I been reading too many murder mysteries again…?) that emits strong, bold dark fruit aromas (think plums, black cherries, currants). Those aromas follow through on the tongue with the added element of cooking spices (I’m thinking fresh ground pepper, maybe a hint of all-spice). The overall acidity is pretty low, while the tannins are quite substantial, predominantly in the finish, which is a dry, lingering one.
Food Pairing: Because of the burst of juiciness in the foretaste, the subtle spice hints, and that lingering, dry finish, I believe that this wine would best be paired with a good juicy burger (or Turkey Burger). Alternatively, I’ve also had this wine on its own, post-meal. Something about that finish is just a calming way to end an evening…
More Info: Like I said, I purchased this wine at Costco (Price: $7.99). For more information about the Tudal Family and their wines, please visit their website. Personally, I’m most curious about their Mer Blanc Rose, but don’t know where to get my hands on it — please leave a comment if you’ve tried it or know where to buy…cheers!
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