You might be surprised to find out how many of the wine brands you see on the shelves come from the same company. There are a few giants in the wine business, plus thousands of small wineries. One of the giants whose brands you’ll come across in just about any grocery store that sells wine is Bronco Wine Company. They produce multitudes of brands and most of them are bargain-priced wines. One of those brands is Napa Ridge.
When you get into wine it can be easy to cop an attitude about cheap wine brands and paint them all as bad wines. And while there are some bad ones out there, the truth is that production technology has advanced to a point where even the cheap, mass-produced wines can be pretty tasty. They may not have the complexity, concentration, structure or character that some premium wines have, but some of them are still tasty. I try to have an open mind with every wine that I taste and I have been surprised by some.
This one I found to be drinkable, but not surprisingly awesome.
While in some ways this smells like an average Cabernet, there are some nuances that make it interesting. On the average side, it does have cherry, blackberry and oaky aromas. But there’s also a touch of tobacco and black olive on the nose, which give it a little interest. But it’s only moderate in overall intensity. The palate has mostly fruit flavors, like plum and cherry. It’s somewhat on the tart side, not offensively so, but it does take the mouth feel down a notch. The finish tastes like an under ripe plum with a hint of oak. There are a couple aspects to this wine that could be better, but it’s still drinkable.
Wine: Napa Ridge
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Disclosure: This wine was received as a sample.