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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tuesday Tasting: Three Smooth Reds from Out West

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we head out west to sample three very smooth and moderately priced red wines.

One of the great things about writing about beer, wine and spirits is that I always have an excuse to try new products. I'm again thankful for this fact because I recently had the chance on three different occasions to try domestic reds that were flavorful, smooth and affordable. Whenever I feel like wine prices are getting a bit out of hand I run across wines like these and I'm reminded that you can drink some great wine without breaking the bank.

Sawtooth Winery 2002 Syrah: From Idaho's Snake River Valley, this wine was aged for 17 months in French oak barrels and comes out exceptionally smooth with deep plum flavors. The winemaker used 96 percent Syrah grapes, 2 percent gin sault, 1 percent mourvedre and 1 percent grenache to build the flavor profile. This is the perfect wine for the perfect steak.

Mankas Hills Vineyards 2004 Amelie: From the Suisun Valley in California, this wine is a blend of 75 percent cabernet sauvignon and 25 percent merlot. Aged for 12 months in French, European and American oak, 1,000 cases were produced. There are a ton of black berries and plums in the flavor profile, which lingers pleasantly. Perfect for sipping on a deck during a crisp Fall evening.

Dominican Oaks 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon: Want a really good Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon for around $15? I suggest you give this one a try. Produced by Rutherford Wine Co., which also makes the Rutherford Ranch and Round Hill labels, this wine is full bodied and rich. This is an excellent choice if you are hosting an event and want your wine to have a Napa pedigree without feeling like you have just purchased the winery.

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