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California does not have the best reputation for producing quality red blends at affordable prices. If you happen to come across a blend under $15, often that blend is either overoaked, too sweet, manipulated, or simply not very good. Not so, however, with The Boatman, an incredible value for the quality inside the bottle.

Perhaps what helps make The Boatman so good is that fact that the grapes used in this red blend aren’t the typical red varieties of California. Instead this wine is primarily made from Alicante Bouschet – if you’ve never heard of it before don’t worry, most people haven’t – the grape is a cross between Petit Bouschet and Grenache, and is mostly found in Portugal and Spain. When taken care of, Alicante Bouschet can produce wines that are fresh, fruity and lively, which this bottle certainly is.

Blended with a bit of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the wine pours extremely dark in the glass, giving off aromas of ripe plums and soil. This is an insanely quaffable wine with flavors of berry jam, figs, and even coffee.

It’s a wine that would go well with pretty much anything you’re serving, but also drinks nicely on its own. And it is definitely a wine worthy of purchasing an entire case.

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