Tasting Notes: Late Bloomer

Late Bloomer, the Ashland-based value label, has released its second wine.

The 2010 Late Bloomer Red is a blend of cabernet sauvignon and grenache.

The introductory price is $10.

The cabernet grapes were grown at Trium's vineyards in Talent and the grenache grapes in Ashland.

"The 66 percent cab and 34 percent grenache dance together expertly," says wine producer Marilyn Hawkins.

The combination could be called BorRhone or RhoneDeaux, but she says devotees call the flavorful mélange "the thinking drinker's shareable red."

Only 145 cases have been produced.

The wine, with 12.5 percent alcohol, pairs well with burgers, barbecued ribs, goulash and meat-based chili, pasta or pizza.

Poultry appreciators could serve it with spit-roasted chicken or chicken enchiladas, and vegetarians could enjoy it with eggplant Parmesan or grilled veggies, says Hawkins.

"The bolder the cheese, the better pairing," she adds.

The label's first release was the 2011 Dry Gewürztraminer ($9), a white wine with 111/2 percent alcohol that is true to the German version of the grape, not the sweet types typically poured in most American restaurants.

The wine, an alternative to chardonnay or moscato, pairs well with chicken, turkey, white fish, shrimp or crab, light cheeses, salads, vegetable appetizers, cream soups, Asian cuisine and other spicy foods.

To keep costs down, Late Bloomer wine (www.latebloomerwine.com) is sold directly to customers.

It's available by contacting wine producer Marilyn Hawkins (541-552-9922, mhawkins@prhawk.com) or winemaker Linda Donovan (541-621-1589, linda@ldonovanwines.com).

— Janet Eastman

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