The If You See Kay Paso Robles Red 2016 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Petit Verdot grown in vineyards in the hills and valleys of San Juan Creek and Estrella District of inland Paso Robles AVA of the Central Coast AVA of California. There seems to be or has been an Italian version of If You See Kay. It’s kind of funny this brand has been around for at least 10 years and in that time calling the acronym (or is this a homonym ?) for sex isn’t as acceptable and according to the website Kay is a strong independent woman and the name is inspired by a James Joyce novel from the 20s. Actually, I can think of a song from the 80s of the same name by April Wine (check it out on Spotify), it sounds sort of like a Sammy Haggar song, but Sammy was never that dopey. So here is something of a connection, a song by April Wine and Sammy Haggar has one of the best wine cellars in the country.
If you see Kay is a wine made in the Prisoner style of winemaking but sells for 1/2 to 1/3 the price. This should be a rich, extracted, full-flavored blend and they didn’t cut corners in the winemaking, this Red was aged in French and American oak barrels for 18 months. Paso Robles has a reputation that for wine there are no rules, the winemakers go where the grapes take them without paying too much attention to the wine traditions of France and Italy. It is also a great location for growing top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The alcohol content is a precise 14.1%.
The Tasting Notes
The color is about as opaque as wine gets and there is more black than purple. The nose is dark berries, toasty vanilla, soft spice, chocolate powder, pepper, and cranberry. This is a very well-controlled Red blend, the flavors make a stew and the structure holds it all together. It starts with ripe blackberry, raspberry, fudge brownie, black pepper, and creamy vanilla. The mid-palate adds tart cherry, spice with a slightly rough edge, and dusty chocolate powder. The tannins are soft and smooth and the acidity is balanced by the body of the wine. The finish is strong and long.
- I am not sure if he is still involved with this wine, but the originating winemaker made his name with $250 limited availability cult wines and this was his foray into more easily obtainable wine, it should sell for between $15 and $20.
- The comparison with the Prisoner Red blend is warranted. The If You See Kay is a well-made, delicious blend. Large without being over-the-top, ripe without being perceived as sweet.