This was a wine I picked up at the Charlotte, N.C. airport tasting bar on a layover coming home from Los Angeles several weeks back. Raylen sits in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina where numerous wineries have been producing varietals and blends for years. I blogged about this tasting bar which Gaiter and Brecher of the Wall street Journal also wrote up in the late Spring. It is worth a stop over if you're in the airport!
This was an $18 wine that showed much better for this review than it tasted at the airport.
It has a nice dark color with a big nose of dark fruit and a hint of green pepper in the bouquet which is actually pleasant. (Normally, I find green pepper aromas too overwhelming and rather annoying.) And finally a layer of cherry fragrance in this fruit forward offering. It is a blend of five grapes--Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Petite Verdot.
In the mouth it is full bodied with a nice chocolate layer with decent structure and rich berry fruit. It is actually quite nice even on opening. With some air, it is full with raisins and ripe fruit. This is a well made wine which exceeded my expectations. Now I’m sorry I only bought one bottle. For this price, it is a solid value so raise a glass.