This is based on samples provided by the winery or another organization acting on their behalf.



2011 Four Vines Naked Chardonnay

2010 Four Vines Truant Old Vine

2011 Alto Cinco Garnacha Cariñena


Basic CMYK

About the company:

Purple Wine Company was founded in 2002 by Derek Benham and is based in Graton, California.  Its mission is to create high quality wines that offer outstanding value and are consistent in style from vintage to vintage.  The wines made via its sister production company, Sonoma Wine Company, are produced using water and energy conservation practices, while reducing Green House Gas emissions.


The Purple Wine Company portfolio includes Avalon, BEX, Four Vines, Cryptic and the newest addition to the PWC family, Alto Cinco.  While distinctly different, all brands maintain committed to producing the best possible wine in an environmentally conscious way.


More information about Purple Wine Company and their portfolio of wines is available on their website.



The PWC Green Initiative

The Purple Wine Company has a successful “Green Initiative” that includes just about every facet of their business from growing grapes to distributing their wines.  Much more information and details of their model is available here.


The Purple Wine Company maintains a social media presence on Twitter and Facebook.


Here is the line up for this evening’s online tasting:

Purple Wine Company Line up




2011 Four Vines Naked Chardonnay – SRP $12.00

The Naked Chardonnay is from the El Camino, Los Alamos, and Loma Verde vineyards in the Cat Canyon of Santa Barbara County.


This wine was fermented and aged in 100% stainless steel tanks.  A small percentage (4%) was allowed to go through malolactic fermentation.  This as well as sur lies aging added a slight creaminess to the front end on the palate.


There were 56,000 cases of this wine produced.  The final alcohol is 13.9%


Even though unoaked Chardonnay wines are growing in popularity, especially in my house, it is a long shot it will ever over throw the Chardonnay wines that are aged in oak.  That category of wine is still one of the most popular out there with a ton of devoted followers.  I’m just thankful there are a growing number of wineries thinking outside of the norm and producing wines that highlight the nice fruit, minerality, and tangy acidity the Chardonnay grape has to offer.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright straw to yellow color.  The impressive and inviting nose has apples, stony minerals, white peach, lemon zest, lime, and a touch of almond from the sur lies aging.  This dry white has light to medium body, and tart acidity.  On the palate crisp apples, minerals and a touch of creaminess hit first with citrusy acidity kicking in on the back end.  This has a nice finish, featuring minerals, lime, and mouthwatering acidity.  (89 pts)


This is a real value for the money.  If you like wines like a Sauvignon Blanc, you should give an unoaked Chardonnay a shot.

2011 Four Vines Naked Chardonnay




2010 Four Vines Truant Old Vine – SRP $12.00

The Truant Old Vine is a blend of 77% Zinfandel, 13% Syrah, 5% Petite Sirah, 3% Barbera, and 2% Sangiovese from vineyards in Paso Robles, Mendocino County, Cucamonga Valley, Lodi, Amador County and Sonoma’s Russian River Valley.


There were 50,000 cases of this 14.5% alcohol wine produced.


Even though there is enough Zinfandel in the wine to be labeled as a Zin, the winery simply lists the wines as being Old Vine.  This is a smart move, in upcoming vintages the percentages may change and leave Zinfandel with a low enough percentage to not allow it to be listed on the front label.  Not listing a specific grape on the front of the bottle does not mean a lower quality wine, it just allows the winery to adjust the blend each vintage allowing them to produce the best blend possible.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly dark ruby red color.  The deep and dark nose has earthy, blackberries, black pepper, warm baking spices, plums, earthiness, and meaty notes.  This has medium to full body, light to moderate ripe tannins, and decent acidity.  The palate features nice berries, spice and earthiness.  The finish has decent length.  (86 pts)


This tasty, value priced gem is a rich but not jammy style of wine with good spice, perfect with something off the grill or sipping on its own.

2010 Four Vines Truant Old Vine




2011 Alto Cinco Garnacha Cariñena – SRP $16.00

The Alto Cinco is a blend of 94% Garnacha and 6% Tempranillo from the Cariñena region in Spain.  The grapes used in this wine were harvested from vineyards both in higher and lower elevations.  The elevation of the vineyards imparts different characteristics to the finished wine.  In this case the grapes from the lower elevations added increased aromatics and berry flavors while the grapes from higher elevations added intensity and old vine spice to the blend.


The wine was aged for 6 months in a mix of French and American oak barrels.  The final alcohol level is 14%.


Wines from Spain, especially Garnacha, which is known as Grenache in other parts of the world, is a growing category, gaining devotees every day.  The Grenache grape is grown all over the world and produces varying styles of wines depending on where it is grown.  I’d advise everyone to check out wines made from this versatile grape.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The inviting nose has black cherry, raspberry, spice, minerals, licorice, dried herbs, plums, and a bit of earthiness.  This has medium body, moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate, cherries, berries, loads of spice dominate with a bit of earthiness slowly building on the back end.  This has good length on the finish with nice balance between fruit and savory elements, nice closing acidity invites another sip.  (90 pts)


This wine would be wonderful paired with something hot off the grill, especially some chicken or pork.

2011 Alto Cinco Garnacha Carinena





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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.