Many wine drinkers are very familiar with The Prisoner Wine Company, which produces the wildly popular red wine blend called The Prisoner – one of the best-selling wines of the past decade.
Women winemakers are still, sadly, reasonably rare in the wine world. But not at The Prisoner Wine Company, where Chrissy Wittman serves as Director of Winemaking and Niki Williams is Winemaker. These women are behind what is quickly becoming one of my favorite wines: Thorn 2015 Napa Valley Merlot ($40).
The wine is Merlot-based (81%), blended with Syrah, Petite Syrah, and Malbec, which is aged in a combination of French and Hungarian oak barrels. Thorn is a dark, brooding, full-bodied wine in which Syrah brings depth to the body and Malbec helps bring out a fruity vibrancy in the wine.
There are vanilla notes showing in Thorn, which come from the use of oak barrels for aging, as well as tobacco, blackberry, chocolate, plum and black olive flavors and aromas. With a full-bodied Merlot like Thorn, I would turn to robust food pairings such as grilled steak, roast lamb, roast beef and roast duck. It’s a terrific wine to have around for the holidays.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.