2012 Dead Bolt Winemaker’s Blend

A California red that comes together in an interesting tumble of red and black fruits, the Dead Bolt makes its mark on you as a consumer. We opened this bottle over the weekend but only finished it this evening with ground beef soup, tortilla corn chips, and buttered rolls. How did it take two sittings to partake of this 2012?

The winemaker remarks, “Dead Bolt is a rich, round, and opulent California red of dark origins. A generous blend full of rich fruit flavors with a long textured finish.” Is that a little overstated for this working man’s red? Maybe a little, but it is a drink that’ll leave a smile on your face. Partially from this succulent wine; partially from the clever branding.
The 2012 Dead Bolt is the creation of Philip Laffer and brings together Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, and Shiraz–might be a kitchen sink in there too–into one helluva smooth red. And it works. We’ve got several interesting bottles awaiting us, but I will look forward to the chance to circle back to this one again soon.

2012 Mr. Riggs “The Ring In” Shiraz

“The Ring In” Shiraz was a mail-order bottle that caught my eye in several ways: 1) its simple, understated horseshoe-shaped logo; 2) its odd name; and 3) the fact that it was a Shiraz.  Several years ago I had a pretty significant Shiraz phase, recording thoughts and tasting notes in a wine notebook, but this grape has been absent from our table in recent months.  Someday I may unearth the notebook and add some of that information to Notes–here some thoughts on the Mr. Riggs experience in the interim:


2012 Mr. Riggs “The Ring In” South Australia Shiraz.

Big bouquet of blackberry and dark fruit on the nose, right upon opening, and with none of the sharpness that you occasionally get when uncorking a Cabernet Sauvignon.  Deep, deep red pour into a glass held by my eager hand, and then more fruit too upon initial tasting.  Here are several ideas from the experts that should further shape your instincts with The Ring In:

This exclusive U.S. import offers notes of black cherry, eucalyptus, violets, blackberry, vanilla, cocoa, and minerals.

As depicted in the mouth-watering photo here, we had The Ring In (a South Australian gem) with a hearty beef stew and biscuits, both cooked up to a tender and flavorful effect by my wife.  You might be thinking about heartburn right about now, but let me assure you her stew broth was packed with subtle tastes that were easy on the tongue and throat.  This meal did well to ward off the chill of a rainy, overcast Sunday and was a great last dinner before an early a.m. flight to New Jersey and “road” foodstuffs.