I picked up 14 Hands Vineyards Hot to Trot Red Blend 2010 because I’ve previously enjoyed good value bottles from Washington State. 14 Hands Vineyards is a brand of Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. The company is the largest winery in the state of Washington, and in addition to its own Chateau Ste. Michelle brand owns other labels such as Columbia Crest, Snoqualmie Winery and Spring Valley Vineyards. The concept behind the 14 Hands label was to celebrate the spirit of the wild horses that once roamed the hills of eastern Washington. Winemaker Keith Kenison makes his soft, fruit friendly reds by taking “a practical approach to winemaking and let the fruit express itself”.
Red-violet in colour, after aerating aromas of raspberry and toasty oak rose from the glass. Cherry, blueberry and hints of deep black cherry abounded in the medium body. Spicy black peppercorn joined toasty oak and velvety raisin notes in the moderate finish. Although slightly generic in taste, this is a value-driven, easy drinking, simple glass of fruit and spice that works well at the table or sipping on its own.
“Predominantly Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon with hints of Mourvedre and other select red varieties.” [Incidentally I’m not a fan of this type of labeling, I believe there should be full disclosure in varietal percentages.]
Cellared & Bottled by 14 Hands Winery, Patterson, WA
Rated 88 points by Wine Spectator