The Prisoner Wine Company is widely known for its eponymous wine, but it has lately expanded — a lot — into a wide range of additional bottlings. Here we look at a trio of new releases from the brand, which is known for its unusual, evocative labels.
2019 Blindfold White Blend California – Chardonnay, roussanne, viognier, and muscat. Super floral, super perfumed. At least three of the component wines in the blend make a showing — creamy chardonnay, orange-heavy muscat, and the heavy florals and peach/apricot notes of the viognier. It’s the viognier-driven lavender and clean linen notes that take this wine through to the finish, evoking springtime and rebirth. B+ / $32
2018 Eternally Silenced Pinot Noir California – This is a bold and black-fruit-driven expression of pinot from parts unknown in California. Brambly and a bit tough, it’s got a solid sense of balance between savory and sweet, its tannic core giving gravitas to a wine that is otherwise dominated by somewhat overripe berries and a healthy layer of spice which overwhelm more subtle elements of cola and vanilla. Special demerits for the absurd amount of wax on the bottle (albeit with an artistic intent, related to the label) which took me over 5 minutes to pry off enough to get to the cork. B+ / $50
2018 Saldo Zinfandel California – 85% zinfandel; 15% blend of petite sirah and syrah. As expected, it’s ripe with dark fruit notes — currants, black raspberry, then chocolate syrup and vanilla — but a layer of licorice and some spice box notes give this wine an unexpected depth in comparison to the usual zin. Lightly tarry but always laced with notes of fresh berry fruit, it feels more ready to pair with a cheese course vs. your entree. B+ / $32