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Harbes VIneyard. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)
Harbes VIneyard. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

The Harbes Vineyard tasting room – my personal favorite part of the Harbes ag empire, save maybe the sweet corn – opens for the season on Friday, just in time for Mother’s Day.

Last I looked, the weather isn’t looking so spring-like for the weekend, so maybe you won’t be in the mood to drink their fresh dry rosé or their tasty steel-fermented chardonnay. That’s okay though. If you’re more in a red wine mood, this week’s wine of the week,  Harbes Vineyard 2013 Proprietor’s Reserve Red Blend ($43), will certainly hit the spot.

This blend of 70% merlot, 13% petit verdot, 12% syrah and 5% cabernet franc isn’t your typical local Bordeaux-style blend – that syrah is the outlier. You’ll continue to hear about 2013 reds for a while, and there’s a reason for that. It was a great growing season and this wine shows the ripeness of the vintage without being over the top or bludgeoned with new oak.

In fact, the absence of overt oak or oak-derived flavors is a welcome surprise here. Plum and black cherry flavors are accented by subtle notes of spice and earth with medium-intense tannins that are well-incorporated rather than angular with a certain freshness. It’s polished and supple but also expressive and elegant.

At $43 a bottle, it’s perhaps not an everyday bottle, but it’d be a nice foil for grass-fed beef or maybe leaner cuts of lamb. And hey, your mom – or the mom of your kids – is worth it, right?

Lenn Thompson

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