The Smoking Loon Red Loonatic Red Wine Blend is a non-vintage mix of 28% Syrah, 20% Alicante Bouschet, 15% Petite Sirah, 10% Zinfandel, 7% Tannat, 6% Sangiovese, 6% Touriga Nacional, 6% Tempranillo and 2% Pinot Noir sourced from several California grape growing AVA’s, but primarily the Lodi AVA. Smoking Loon is one of Don Sebastiani and Sons several brands, they are negociants. Negociants purchase excess wine or grapes from wineries, they sometimes improve the wine by aging it or blending it with other purchased wines and bottle the wine under their own label, who the original winery was is kept secret. In past years the Red Loonatic name was used for a Sweet Red wine, it had a yellow label, but this is a completely different Red blend (red label). This is a non-vintage wine, indicating the some of the grapes used where harvested in different years, there are so many varietals used and I would imagine that some saw a bit more oak aging than others. The alcohol content is either 13.0% (the bottle) or 13.5% (the technical notes).
The color is a dark, rich, Dorothy’s ruby slippers red. The nose is red jammy fruit and cinnamon spice, with a shot of oak spice and French vanilla. Well, this blend is definitely not flavor challenged, it tastes of raspberry, carmel (just like the carmel on a dipped taffy apple), black cherry, milk chocolate and a solid slap of Altoid’s spice. The tannins are soft and mostly hidden and the acidity is well balanced. The finish starts off strong and fades after a reasonable time.
The Smoking Loon Red Loonatic is a whole lotta fun, the flavors are bold, but balanced and the riot of flavors upfront are nicely offset by the spice on the mid palate. This is a pizza and burgers wine, there is so much going happening on the palate, that the flavors would compete with and not enhance many dishes. The Red Loonatic is a unique blend of grapes and a unique tasting wine, you probably have not had a wine that tasted exactly like the Red Loonatic before. The Smoking Loon Red Loonatic is a tasty, inexpensive (I found it for $7.99), not the same old, same old Red blend, that goes down very easy.