During July, most wine lovers turn their attention to lighter fare such as Sauvignon Blancs or Chardonnays. Every once in a while though, a red does come along in this warmer season that captures everyone’s attention. This summer, it is The Protest.
The Protest is Chateau Diana’s grand experiment in marrying whiskey and wine. They start with a premium Sonoma Valley red blend wine then age it in craft rye whiskey barrels.
This barrel aging, similar to Robert Mondavi Select’s Bourbon Barrel Cabernet offering early this year, imparts a unique profile on the wine, drawing out “barrel spice” flavors like oak and vanilla, and even a touch of pepper from the rye, for a much more complex experience.
The Protest’s rye aromas are unobtrusive, melding well with its silky, fruit-dense Syrah component to add hints of cigar box and fresh leaf tobacco. This sumptuous red collects the rye aromas, extending the flavor with delicious chewy, bacon-fat tones, accented by deep blackberry and black raspberry jam highlights. The intense, dusty black fruit flavors engage in a warm intermingling with the rye whiskey flavors.
Make no mistake, this is a bold, in your face red blend. It boasts a whopping 15.8% alcohol by volume, but balances it out with its depth of flavor.
Imagine the thoughtful smiles and approving nods it could bring when paired with a freshly grilled steak or a seared lamb shoulder right off the flame. It would also pair well with a Sunday afternoon charcuterie plate.
The Protest by Chateau Diana is currently on Newsletter Special through August 2nd at Wyatt’s Wet Goods.