“WHERE WERE YOU IN EIGHTY TWO?”
It’s was 1982. “E.T.” was a top movie; “Cheers” was on top of its game on T.V.; “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John was number one on the billboard charts and the famous Oakley Vineyards in Contra Costa County California were purchased and restored by Mr. Fred Cline of Cline Cellars in Sonoma, CA. Twenty plus years later…Oakley Eighty-Two wine blends were launched and Eight-Two has taken on a whole new meaning!
I’ve said it many times and I will say it here again….blends/table wines are some of the best wine concoctions out there and they are usually less expensive than your 100% varietals. Cline Cellars has released a value friendly line, Oakley Eighty-Two, that is making its way into mainstream wine retailers as you read this. Cline Cellars might be known for their beautiful Zinfandels, but have no doubt, they are putting nothing less into their affordable red blend, Oakley Eighty-Two Red. One of the most awesome $10 wine values I’ve had in a long while.
The Cline Cellars Oakley Eighty-Two 2011 Red Blend is nothing short of a great everyday table wine that will make a relationship with a rib eye steak work to its advantage, show up a pepperoni pizza, and kick back with company over happy hour, by the glass. This red is versatile and sassy. In the glass the Oakley Eight-Two is dark bing cherry red. The nose also pulls out bright bing cherries with hints of blackberries, light cigar and earthy mushroom. On the palate you are immediately hit once again with tart cherries and then a bit of boysenberry. A very good amount of acidity for a red that lingers on the finish. This is a medium bodied wine which is why it’s so versatile in drinking and with food pairing. Not quite as light as a Pinot Noir and definitely not as full as a Cabernet Sauvignon. I actually worked on my bottle of Cline Cellars Oakley Eighty-Two Red, two different evenings. The first evening of opening, I let it decant for about an hour and paired it with BBQ grilled chicken. Excellent match…the spice in the BBQ sauce, brought out the subtle spice in the red wine and very much enhanced it’s “cigar” notes. The second evening, the wine was even better! Not always the case with many reds…but I love it when it is! Evening two I paired it with Italian Stuffed Zucchini Squash with marinara. Amazing! (There were no leftovers)
I have seen a few wine reviews on the web recently, noting that the Cline Cellars Oakley Eighty-Two 2011 Red is of equal comparison to the popular Apothic Red or Gnarly Red and as I am a fan of both of these value wines for their value….the comparison of Oakley Eighty-Two stops at the value comparison for me. The Cline Cellars Oakley Eighty-Two Red has much more complexity and versatility than many other table reds in this price category. I am giving it a FOUR BOTTLE Rating. The quality surpasses that of others and I for one am pleased to have tried it. It will be a regular guest at my house!
1982 brings many great memories to me when I reflect upon it, but one memory I did not personally have was Fred Cline and his vision for the Oakley Vineyards. Going forward, I will now carry a fond memory of his story and the wonderful value Cline Cellars has put into their Oakley Eight-Two Red Blend. Eighty Two now has yet another meaning.
** Sample received courtesy of Cline Cellars **