Unshackled is a new series of wines from the folks behind The Prisoner, a no-frills collection of California-designated wines with a clever, Enigma-style label design. At least four expressions are available; we received all but a rose. Let’s try them.
2020 Unshackled Sauvignon Blanc California – This exuberant expression of sauvignon blanc feels designed for utter harmlessness. Fortunately, that works. Notes of lemon and light pineapple are perked up by a hint of sweet caramel. The finish is clean and just slightly floral, vanishing in a matter of seconds. A fine selection to celebrate the final days of summer. B+ / $25
2019 Unshackled Red Blend California – A blend of Zinfandel, Malbec, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache, this wine has that “deep purple” feel that offers notes of crushed blackberry and blueberry, then finding new room for elements of chocolate and mint down the road. Exuberant with fruit and moderately sweet, the Zin never wanders too far away on this one, culminating and a (dare I say it) jammy — yet still approachable — finish. B / $30
2019 Unshackled Cabernet Sauvignon California – Bursting with fruit yet balanced with tannin, this berry bomb features clear notes of plums and currants, moving on to chocolate as it develops in the glass. A sultry vanilla note lingers on the back end, but it’s filtered through grinds of pencil lead and some bitter rhubarb notes that linger on the finish. It’s not overly complex or serious, but it’s perfectly drinkable as a cab-heavy “by the glass” selection. B+ / $30