The William Wright Artist Series Red Wine Blend 2015 is I believe a $9.99 ALDI exclusive, produced from 65% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Zinfandel, and 2% Syrah grown in vineyards in the Monterey AVA below San Francisco and inside the Central Coast AVA. William Wright wines are produced by Scheid Winery, Monterey, Ca. who produce some of the best ALDI wine. The label is designed by noted graphic artist, Timothy Goodman, who makes art out of words. I am going to go on a little rant about the importance of the graphics on a wine label for value priced wine. This wine is actually a bit of an exception for $10 wine in that it is sourced from a single AVA, where as most ten buck wines say California, Columbia Valley, South Australia, or Mendoza Valley on the label. All those locations cover 100s is not 1,000s of miles and tell you little about the actual location the grapes were grown. If you don’t know exactly where the grapes came from the vintage date offers very little information and usually the wine has a Brand name and not a winery affiliation, again this wine is an exception since we know Scheid Winery is the source. The graphics on the label need to give clues as to what is inside the bottle, if the label shows a beach scene it may be a light, crisp and breezy wine, if the label features dark brooding colors, it may be a full-bodied, complex wine. And here, with the William Wright Artist Series Red Wine Blend 2015, I think the label says “this is a wine good enough to support art work.” A boring label may well equal boring wine, art on the label should equal an interesting, challenging wine, we shall soon see. The alcohol content is 13.7%.
The color is see-thru cherry red with black highlights. The nose is complex, a hint of smoke, dark berries, oak spice, mint, grass clippings, brown sugar, and chocolate. This is an interesting blend of flavors, it is both smooth and complex. It starts with cherry, vanilla, herbs, plums, and spice. The mid-palate shows blueberries in cream (just a little), tart black cherry, mocha, and vanilla. The tannins are sweet and don’t get in the way, the acidity is well-balanced by the body of the wine, I think this is more of a sipping wine than a food wine, but it has the structure to pair with food. The finish is full and while it fades before long, manages to linger for some time.
The William Wright Artist Series Red Wine Blend 2015 is, indeed, an interesting and complex $10 Red blend, the label didn’t lie. The flavor profile is unexpected, it’s silky and smooth and while there is spice and herbs it is all rather balanced. It tastes more expensive than $10, with many Red blends in this price range the flavor profile comes from winemakers tricks of the trade with oak influence and other techniques, with the William Wright Artist Series the grapes seem to be leading the way. So, I guess choosing a wine by the label actually works as long as you can decipher exactly what the label is telling you.