A college visit with my daughter timed well with an invitation to meet Josh Phelps of Taken Wine in Austin for a tasting of his newly released wines. Josh has only been out of college for five years himself; he started this company with childhood friend Carlo Trinchero. The two have known each other since they were five years old, they grew up in St Helena in Napa Valley and, as both have winemaker fathers, they were always immersed in the world of wine .
Their first release was sold out locally before they had even come up with their company's name. Every label name they dreamed up was already taken so Josh in a moment of irony and frustration took the name Taken for the company. As the two are millennial winemakers, the name made them think of social media relationship status and Complicated was added to the line.
With a group of local wine professionals, we tasted three wines over lunch at Perry's Steakhouse & Grille. All the wines were well received and more than one re-pour was requested. I thought the wines were all fresh, well balanced and a great quality for the price. I would recommend all three.
- 2012 Complicated Chardonnay Sonoma County - Bright aromas and flavors of lime zest and peach with a hint of spice. Medium body, refreshing acidity and a lingering fruity finish.
- 2011 Complicated Red Wine Central Coast - This is a blend of 50% Syrah, 43% Grenache and 7% Carignane. It was particularly good with the pork chop. Ripe black berries with smoky meat and coffee. Medium+ body, fresh acidity with sweet ripe tannins and a long finish.
- 2011 Taken Red Wine Napa Valley - This is a blend of 60% Cabernet and 40% Merlot. Approachable and classic Napa Valley despite the difficult growing season. Pronounced aromas and flavors of ripe black berries and cherries with graphite, chocolate and toasted notes. Full body, fresh acidity and velvety tannins with a long finish.