Odd Blends Do Not Always Work
I’m always down for interesting, different blends. Steven Kent Winery tosses its hat in this particular ring with the Insieme. The Insieme I tasted was non-vintage: some of the grapes were harvested in 2006, and some in 2007. It’s a blend of 34% mourvedre, 30% syrah, 20% zinfandel, and 16% grenache. It’s also 15% ABV, so you better be in the mood for the alcohol.
For me, that alcohol level was kind of a turn-off. It made the nose of the wine smell like rubber and alcohol. It wasn’t disgusting, it wasn’t completely off-putting, but I could tell that the alcohol content of the wine (which I guessed at at the time, didn’t know the exact amount until later) was overpowering other notes on the nose.
The only fruit note I noticed on the palate was kind of a sour cherry, or perhaps black cherry. The wine was very tight, and rough and tannic. I’d like to say it was simply youth, and the wine needs to be laid down for 5-10 years. However, it’s my (as of yet still undereducated) understanding that higher-ABV wines do not cellar well, which leaves me at a bit of a conundrum. I suppose at $30 for the bottle of Insieme, I could buy some, lay it down myself, and try it again in 2016 or so.
But I’d rather spend my money on more enjoyable wine.