By Daniel Mangin / Napa Valley, Places/Activities, Wine, Wine Reviews
Offbeat mashups and wise cellar choices make for appealing wines.
With a name like Anarchist Wine Co., there’s a lot to unpack. Is the anarchy just about varietal mashups, for instance, or also wild-and-crazy cellar techniques? With Anarchist, as well to consider are catchy names like Rosé Against the Machine and the labels, whose art is generated by algorithms based on data points related to a wine’s title. I sorted some of this out while sampling the three well-crafted Anarchist wines described below.
2019 Rosé Against the Machine (Clarksburg AVA). Rosé of Tempranillo (84%) isn’t unheard of, so perhaps it’s the 1% Pinot Noir (along with 15% Mourvèdre) that tips this light-on-its-feet blend into anarchy. Strawberry and not-quite-ripe watermelon notes predominate, with the acidity crisp but not puckering. A total sipper if you desire, it also plays well with food.
2016 Conspiracy Theory (North Coast AVA). The Petite Sirah (40%) and Syrah (25%) at this blend’s core assert themselves on the nose conventionally, but the other components—Malbec (14%), Sangiovese (11%), Zinfandel (10%)—interact in appealingly offbeat ways on the palate. The Sangiovese and Zinfandel’s red aspects, for instance, impishly challenge the Petite’s potency and the Syrah’s darker savory notes, but it’s all done with love. This wine with mixed-berry-pie richness loves extra-creamy cheese, chicken aglio olio e peperoncino (shown), or a juicy pork chop with the fat left untrimmed.
2017 The Philosopher. Initial sips of this 99% Bordeaux blend (Cab Sauv 85%, Merlot 6%, Cab Franc 4%, Petit Verdot 4%, and Petite Sirah 1%) set me to wondering about the Cabernet Sauvignon’s sources. The strategy with the blending grapes seems to have been more to amplify the Cabernet’s characteristics than to fill in gaps. Wise choice.
Anarchist Wine Co. has a tasting room, shared w/sister winery The Wine Foundry) at the Vista Collina Resort’s The Village Napa Valley, about 4 miles south of downtown Napa.