The Boatman · Red Blend 2019
A combination of the brand driven nature of the domestic wine market and the cost of land in California has made for a difficult situation for consumers looking for tasty wines made in the U.S.A. at an approachable price. That said, there are still a few pockets of California where one can find great value. My favorite of these? The Sierra Foothills. Here, far from the picturesque estates of Napa and the lovely hills of Sonoma, the sense that wine is simply agriculture is palpable. A wine better suited to illustrate this would be difficult to come by than The Boatman. A field blend, estimates put the primary grape in this blend, Alicante Bouschet, at about 40%. The balance is made up of Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah. Alicante Bouschet is what the French call "teinturier," a grape whose flesh is red as well as its skins (imagine a red fleshed plum). Grapes like this impart a succulent juiciness to the resultant wine that is on full display here. Few wines in the shop exhibit more mass appeal and crowd pleasing accessibility than The Boatman.
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