Bennett Lane Wines Maximus 2006 Red Wine, Napa, California

When offered a 2006 Red Maximus by Bennett Lanes Winerey, the name suggested a mean, hardened Cabernet Sauvignon that had all machismo of Russell Crowe’s Maximus Decimus Meridius from the silver screen epic Gladiator. What I got did have three names, 1) Cabernet Sauvignon 2) Syrah 3) Merlot. Bordeaux styled blend, yes! Bumbling idiot Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther? no.

What the wine is: a 35$ ruby red on the eye, dark chocolate and flowers on the nose and not too dry on the nose value proposition. Already 4 years old the wine doesn’t show any jagged tannins, and doesn’t try to camouflage any weak points in a haze of smoke. Not a signature Napa wine, but a great use for grapes that are not destined for the icon wines. You get a luscious basket of juicy berries and cherries, some dark chocolate with enough of a surfer dude accent to know that this is a Napa wine – and you don’t have to break the bank to pay for it.

Musical Match: The legendary American cool guy Steve McQueen gets sung about by Cheryl Crow. Ms. Crow’s music brings the macho legend down to a more playful than tough character, and that is what the Maximus does to the legend of brash cowboy wines. The Maximus wine is an unpretentious, approachable version of the American classic seen through ladies eyes – and statistics show us that women are making the choices on wine purchases, so raise a toast to the ladies. Good Stuff.

Leave a comment and me know what wine you would match with this music.

Part 1/5 in the BottleDJ 2010 Fall Classic Focus on Napa.

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