This Kentucky dry red wine combines two of my favorite red grapes – Syrah and Chambourcin. Both my husband and I really loved how this dry red was smooth with a fruity ending. If a dry red could possibly taste like a type of dry jam, this is it.

We first had this wine on our recent Indiana/Kentucky Wine trip. While sometimes you can get caught up in “tasting room persuasion,” every bottle we’ve bought from Smith-Berry Vineyard and Winery has truly left us loving their wine even more. They are located in New Castle, Kentucky, which is less than an hour from downtown Louisville.

The Smith-Berry tasting room is rustic and charming:

Our very informative tasting room server expert, Ally:

The barn, which actually houses all of their wine making equipment.

We really liked how the winery had lots of nooks and crannies you could hide away in and feel secluded.

Another hideout – look close their really are bistro tables in there:

The Varietal:
Alright, back to the Brother John wine! This wine is a blend made from predominately Syrah grapes and with estate grown Chambourcin.The Syrah grape, which is also called Shiraz in Australia, is the seventh most grown grape in the world. According to Snooth, “Syrah wines tend to have an intensely rich, chewy texture with dark violet and black hues. Aromas lean on the spicier side, rather than fruity.” Chambourcin, which is a midwest cold-climate grape, is described by the Missouri Wine  as “A French-American hybrid grape, Chambourcin produces a medium-bodied red wine with a fruity aroma and cherry and earthy/spicy complexities. Medium to dark red in color, Chambourcin is a food-friendly wine!”

The Pour:
It is a very dark red and is almost purple in color. I would say – see the color in the photo up top? But, this wine reviewer forgot to take a photo before we drank the bottle. Oops!

The Sniff:
Brother John wine had smells of jam (blackberry? plum?), vanilla, oak and little earthy smell.

The Taste:
The first taste of this wine was very rich with flavors of blackberry jam, earth, oak and smoky. The finish is very long and has a slight fruity ending. This wine was the perfect dry red to break open with the cooler temperatures and warm stews. From the website:

This limited production, sturdy red wine named for John M. Berry is made predominately from Syrah. It is deep garnet in color and has powerful aromatics of plum, black cherry, chocolate, licorice, vanilla, wood and subtle notes of earth. On the palate, the fruit forward nature of Syrah, along with French oak influence combine to deliver flavors of blackberry, plum, mocha, sweet oak, smoke and cherry that linger nicely on the long, deliberate finish. Tannins are apparent but refined, and the wine shows substantial acidity on the back end. Both make Brother John a natural for Autumnal hearty beef stews and roasts. Aforementioned structure will allow this well- rounded, high quality red to age nicely in your cellar for 3-5 years.

The Label:
Who is the guy on the horse? Explanation:

Vintage: 2012 purchased, unsure of actual date
Wine Varietal: Syrah & Chambourcin blend
Producer: Smith-Berry Vineyard and Winery
Price: $15.95 per bottle/ $6.00 per glass
Produced and Bottled: New Castle, Kentucky
Alcohol: 13.5%
Glass used: Vinum XL Riedel Montrachet glass

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