The Shannon Ridge Wrangler Red is what we don’t see often enough – great, cheap California red wine
One of the blog’s great laments is the lack of quality cheap California wine. There’s lots of cheap wine, of course, but not much that most of us would want to drink. Because, as one of the blog’s regular visitors and a longtime California winemaker once told me, “we all decided we needed to become famous.”
Enter the Shannon Ridge Wrangler Red ($12, purchased, 13.9%). This red blend does what so many others don’t care to do – offer quality wine at a fair price that tastes like it comes from California. It’s a blend of syrah, petite sirah, tempranillo, and zinfandel, but remains balanced and interesting even though that grape combination can produce a six-megaton fruit bomb.
Look for some some sweet fruit (red berries?), but it’s not a sweet wine. There are soft tannins in the back, bracing the structure, just as they should, and there’s even a bit of acidity. In all of this, it’s not smooth, and that’s a good thing.
Highly recommended, and especially for anyone who likes this style of wine. And don’t be surprised to see it the Shannon Ridge Wrangler Red in the 2021 $10 Hall of Fame.
And, because I no longer understand how the wine business works, the 2012 vintage, which was also terrific, cost $14, $2 more than this one.