2009 Raymond Collection Lot No. 7 Field Blend: Acidic at first, but then it mellows
oct. 6, 2011: this is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, petite sirah and zinfandel that, at first, calls for a meal with tomato sauce, or maybe lemon. that's because the opening acidity in this field blend from st. helena, california, pulls at your tongue, and the acids in a tomato or lemon dish would likely counter balance the acids in this wine for an overall neutral finish. that said, this winetree purchase is light, loose, and definitely filled with red fruits, and within minutes of opening this bottle, i'm not sure i'd get this one again unless i could find some way to mute or at least reduce that sting on my tongue. it could be a case of bottle variation, since we had this wine at the winetree tasting last night and we both liked it. but my first thought is this isn't a sipping wine, and we prefer ones that are more tannic and versatile. greg, however, thinks this is similar to the apothic red blend of syrah, zinfandel and merlot from california, though he said it's a bit more sour. he likes it. 13.8 percent alcohol. about $12.50.
correction: about an hour later, the acids seem to have toned down, and the fruits are really thrusting forward now. this is a good sign, as i like the red fruit flavors here. in fact, that's this wine's strength, i think. this is a wine that needs to sit for a while. don't open and immediately serve; have patience.
second night: it's fruity, mellow, the acidity just isn't there. this is definitely a wine that needs to sit, and that'll hold out for a night or two.
this column runs as "bottle by bottle" in the evansville courier and press twice or so a month. the focus is on wines, food and how they intersect. if i receive gifts, i'll tell you. photo credits are noted. i buy most of my wines from winetree, varsity liquors, schnucks, the fresh market, kwik liquor and winestyles (in evansville, ind.); big red liquors and sahara mart (in bloomington, ind.); vecchio's italian market (in newburgh, ind.); whole foods (in st. louis); and binny's (in chicago.) also, i do try a number of wines that i don't necessarily mention in the column, through travels to france and other markets (germany, hungary, italy, etc.) that don't sell wines i can find here. those experiences factor into my tasting descriptions, even if i don't mention them in the column, so keep all that in mind. i write the column to tell my readers in the evansville, ind., area what i consider to be flavorful, balanced and good-value wines for sale in this area.