Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Oliver 2013 Dry Red Blend, Indiana

Oliver Dry Red
When you think of wine, chances are you think of Bordeaux, Napa Valley or Italy. Those are superb wine regions for sure – but there is a world of tasty vino right outside your door.

For those of us living in the Toledo, Ohio, area, there is a wealth of wine within a short distance. Ohio offers many wineries including a rich concentration in the Geneva area. Just a short drive north, Michigan is gaining attention for the quality of their wines. And – lest we forget – Indiana to our west.

Indiana has 76 wineries and produces about 1.4 million gallons of wine annually. Founded in 1972, Oliver Winery and Vineyards in Bloomington is one of the largest and most modernly equipped wineries in the eastern US. It was the first winery in the state. They produce 47 different wines, ranging from semi-sweet to dry.

We recently had the opportunity to sample their 2013 Dry Red Blend. This is an interesting experiment for Oliver. The red blend is one of three wines (the others are Chardonnay and Moscato) that make up the Vine Series. This range of wine uses California grapes from select growers paired with the Midwest craftsmanship of Oliver winemakers.

I poured this for Green Dragon without telling her where the wine was from. She proclaimed it as an enjoyable red blend. When I told her it was from Indiana, she did a double-take.

The Oliver DRB is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It is nice and dry as advertised. It’s a mellow wine that hasn’t undergone much barrel aging. As a result, the tannins are light. This is not a wine to buy and hold, but rather to enjoy now.

There are flavor swirls of cherry and blackberry. The finish is soft and smooth, but a bit short.

All in all, it was surprising – in a good way. Oliver offers a solid lineup of wines including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet, sparkling Vidal Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Viognier and more. While they do offer Beanblossom Blush and Mango Honey Wine, they have plenty to entertain those who prefer a drier style. At a cost of $12 for the DRB, you’ll have enough left over to sample several different varieties.

So far we have only explored two wineries in Indiana (Satek and Briali) but Oliver is due for a visit in the very near future…

Full disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.

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