As America’s fascination with bourbon continues to thrive, companies look for ways to creatively and successfully incorporate America’s native spirit. We know of whiskies that age in wine barrels. One new trend in the wine world is resting wine in ex-whiskey barrels. Cooper & Thief does just that. Their red wine blend, comprised of 38% Merlot, 37% Syrah, 11% Zinfandel, 7% Petite Sirah, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% other varietals, rests in ex-bourbon barrels for three months and bottled at 17% abv. Maybe the bourbon barrel contributes slightly to this higher-than-average proof?
On the nose, hints of dark fruit jam, vanilla bean and sweet oak are most dominant. I pick up typical red wine hints of raspberries and burnt orange peel on the palate, as well as a healthy undercurrent of dark caramel with some light oak tannins on the backend. The velvety mouthfeel make this red wine a pleasure to sip.
I really like this one. The wine characteristics balance nicely with the bourbon barrel contributions. In other words, the wine is still the star here, while the caramel, vanilla and oak notes simply help elevate the fruit notes found in the wine. At about $25 a bottle, Cooper & Thief offers great value for what’s in the bottle. This is one to bring to that holiday dinner party this holiday season. Recommended!
Thanks to Cooper & Thief for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.