Iron Side Cellars is actually a brand of Latitude Beverage Company, which is based not in Napa but in Boston. The company’s been producing wine under this label since 2012, and its new 2016 Reserve bottlings are now hitting the market. We tried both wines — a red blend and a pinot noir — to see how they stack up. Very impressive bottle design, by the way!
2016 Iron Side Reserve Napa Valley – 66% merlot, 22% cabernet sauvignon, 8% petite sirah, and 4% zinfandel. A supple wine, this drinks with notes of plum and cherry, with overtones of roasted meat, bacon, and a hint of clove. The finish is on the sweet side, but despite the dense color, the wine is mild enough to work solo… while carrying enough gravitas to stand up to a bigger meal. B+ / $30
2016 Iron Side Pinot Noir Reserve Monterey – Unctuous, this jammy pinot is bold with cassis and dark cherry notes, drinking more like a cabernet than a pinot noir. Baking spice, chocolate, and licorice candy notes give it a distinctly California feeling — and a very sweet finish. B- / $25