Purple Heart Napa Valley Red Wine 2013

Dark ruby color; plum, blackberry, mulberry on the nose; smooth, supple on the palate with black fruits, dark cherry, plum, blackcurrant tang on the finish.

Vivid fruit, flirting with jammy but prudently avoids that peril; the fruitiness comes across as almost sweet. Merlot dominated wine can do that, although this is dry wine—fruitiness is not sugar sweetness. Fresh, elegant, drinks like a right bank Bordeaux but with classic Napa fruit-forwardness; 84% merlot, 7% cabernet sauvignon, 6% cabernet franc, 3% petit verdot.

This is back-story wine from Robert Mondavi family winemakers (Constellation Brands). From the website: “A long-time friend of the Mondavi family, Ray Coursen [a Vietnam veteran with 30 years of Napa winemaking experience] was approached to be the head winemaker for Purple Heart wines. As a Vietnam veteran, Ray is a strong advocate for the Military Order of the Purple Heart and thrilled to be the winemaker for the Purple Heart label. The wine he created for the label is a classic Napa Valley red wine. Balanced, but still rich and bold, the Purple Heart wine will drink beautifully upon release and gain complexity and grace over four to five years. Ray hopes that the wine will raise awareness of the Purple Heart Foundation mission among wine drinkers, and encourage them to think about the importance of the cause with each bottle they enjoy.”

The winery website encourages support of the Purple Heart Foundation. Purple Heart Winery makes an annual contribution—visit the winery website to discover more.

Merlot-driven Bordeaux blend, silky in the mouth, superbly easy drinking, plus a good cause. What is not to like? $17-20

Purple Heart Wines
Purple Heart Foundation
Second photo: winemaker Ray Coursen
Purple Heart Napa Valley Red Wine 2013winemaker Ray Coursen