2014 Chateau Potelle The Illegitimate California Red Blend
There’s a lot going on here, both with the way this wine tastes but also the marketing behind it. I probably spent more time researching this wine and its roots back to Chateau Potelle than any other wine in recent memory. So here it goes.
This is a “second flag” or “second bottle” from Chateau Potelle, which was started by a French family in the 1980’s in St Helena who initially came to scout out what was happening in California’s wine industry but they were so impressed they stayed.
One of the elements they found most attractive, and in contrast to the traditional French rules of wine-making, was the ability to produce a wide variety of wines without the restraints dictating which grapes can be grown in which areas.
The winery produces Chardonnay, Syrah, Cab Franc, Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as several special blends I’ve never seen anywhere else, like this one, that is blended from grapes grown on Mt Veeder (Napa) and St Julien Bordeaux. Interesting to say the least…
They also produce this bottle, cleverly titled The Illegimate, because as they note on the back of the bottle, you won’t find a blend this wild anywhere else. It’s a perfect example of their philosophy to blend different and less commonly matched varietals.
Note the three flags on the front label too: a French flag, a CA state flag and a flag with an upside-down Fleur de Lys, symbolizing a reverse of French tradition.
So what’s in this wine? From my research (and tasting), it sounds like it’s a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Barbera, Petit Sirah and Zinfandel. I wish I had the percentage breakdown of each of these because they did a rather masterful job putting this wine together.
Vibrant, floral aromas, this wine is fresh and juicy. In the mouth it expresses dark fruit flavors, blackberry, sour cherry and anise with dark chocolate and spicy, peppery notes towards the finish. Finishes super dry.
I enjoyed this one more than expected. My interest was initially piqued by their slick website, but this is one of those times when the cleverly designed marketing actually backs up a really good product.
I hope you can find this one. Price at Costco is $14.99 which is less than anywhere else I found online while researching it.
CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: 88 points
Costco item number: 792294
[Note: we also recently reviewed the Generations wine series on our sister site, Winemodo.com, which ironically introduces a similar perspective on reinterpreting traditional blending philosophies from around the world.]
This wine was received as a sample for the purpose of writing this review. All reviews are written at the discretion of the individual reviewer. Opinions of the reviewer do not necessarily reflect those of CostcoWineBlog.com as a whole, and reviewers are not paid for their reviews by wineries or their affiliated distributors. We at CostcoWineBlog.com believe that wine preferences and opinions are often subjective and highly individualistic. Our scores are based on our individual perception of a wine and how well it reflects the area in which the grapes are grown, the expression of the grapes, and also the quality of the finished product. We remind readers that we are 100% independent of Costco Wholesale Corporation, and are simply of a group of Costco wine fans looking to try new wines and share our favorites with this community.