New Upshot vintages from Rodney Strong’s line of approachable and affordable wines have arrived: both blends, as usual, one white, one red. Let’s taste.
2019 Upshot White Wine Blend California – A much different blend than 2018: 53% grenache blanc, 16% gewurztraminer, 17% pinot noir, 8% viognier, and 5% sauvignon blanc from all over California. It’s fresh and full of fruit, but also rather floral — the gewurztraminer and viognier pairing nicely as they dominate the attack with notes of apricots layered with white flowers. The finish sees gentler notes closer to white peaches and a hint of grapefruit, with ample acidity. Despite the very different blend, it surprisingly drinks a lot like the previous vintage of this wine. A- / $19
2018 Upshot Red Wine Blend Sonoma County – Blended from 34% merlot, 37% zinfandel, 20% malbec, 4% riesling, and 5% petit verdot — roughly the same as the 2017. This zin-heavy blend showcases chocolate and vanilla, but it moves from there fully into dark fruit notes, tinged with licorice and some dusky spice elements. Cocoa powder informs a lengthy, engaging finish. B+ / $19