Our selection comes from our good friends at O'Neill Vintners, one of the largest wineries in California. They produce some of the best values we've ever come across. There was an old adage that in the wine biz, big is bad. Whether that was true or not, it certainly doesn't apply here. The prevailing thought was that small producers take more attention to detail. That's not the case here, though, in many ways, O'Neill runs their operation, which features 50 different brands, as though it were 50 small wineries.
Each brand has its own appellations and winemakers, so in many ways, it is a small winery, but with the back-up of a large one. It would seem to be the best of both worlds, and it shows in the wines produced.
In this case, it's the work of winemaker Steven DeCosta. Steven is a Fresno State graduate in enology with a solid foundation in chemistry and microbiology. He is also one of the few winemakers who actually works in the vineyard as well.
We usually look askance at clever names for wines, but in this case, we thought it was, well, clever. You see, the root of the vine is what causes the grapes to mature. The better the roots, the better the grapes. Obviously, we're talking good roots here.
This blend of Cabernet, Merlot, and Zinfandel presents all we look for in a significant red wine. Raspberry, chocolate, spice, and cassis is just what is needed to serve at our summer BBQ. Ribs and chicken unite!