Cultura is a micro-boutique winery with wines that are hand-crafted from local and estate vineyards to reflect the Yakima Valley terroir.
Warm sun, rolling hills, and a long growing season help to produce exceptional offerings made from numerous grape varietals.
Culturaonly produces about 1,000 cases of wine every year, so it’s not easy to find their selections.
But me when I say that the hunt is worth it! ‘Kairos’ was inspired by the Saint-Emilion region of Bordeaux, but it drinks like one of the best Napa valley blends you could ever hope to get your hands on.
This incredibly limited blend from Yakima Valley features an even 50/50 split of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Cultura Kairos Red Blend Review
This blend has become a flagship bottle of sorts for the winery and has been produced since its beginnings in the Washington wine industry back in 2005.
Cultura Kairos Red Blend Summary
- Brand: Cultura
- Country: United States
- Region: Provence
- Wine Type: Red
- Varietals: Merlot and Cabernet Franc
- ABV: 13%
The wine is a rather bright purple color in the glass, with a ruby-red meniscus around the edges.
The wine, despite the modest alcohol content, has some seriously hefty legs, which form and fall quite quickly in the glass.
Oak, oak, and oak. The nose is initially flooded with fresh oak scents, followed by vanilla, toast, and chocolate from the barrel aging.
After that, cinnamon, allspice, and coffee beans. There is then a bit of dark cherry, wild blackberries, and overripe raspberries throughout, which come across as slightly muted.
I would say that the Merlot pretty well overshadows the Cabernet Franc here. Big, dark, intense berry fruit fills the mouth.
I get a lot of cocoa powder, stewed berries, black cherries, and a bit of baking spice throughout.
I get just the faintest hint of a floral character, almost like lively violets, which to me feels like the Cabernet Franc trying to reach through the crowded Merlot-induced flavors to be seen.
The wine has a decent bit of sugar to it and sits for quite some time on the tongue, even after the last sip is taken.
There is a lot of oak here, which nicely matches power with the rather robust fruit presence that takes up the front of the taste.
What Does Cultura Kairos Red Blend Pair With?
My first instinct is, as usual, to match power with power. Wood-fired red meats, veal, and heartier cuts of pork seem to be ideal pairings with this wine.
Outside of that, I would go with a dessert course with quite a bit of richness to them.
A nice pots de crème, chocolate truffle cheesecake, or chocolate truffles would be some of the first things that I would reach for personally.
If you are not going for any of that, think big, rich, decadent, and chocolate-laden. If you do, you probably will not go wrong with this particular bottle.
What Wines Are Similar to Cultura Kairos Red Blend?
I would recommend going for other big, robust red blends with a bit of residual sugar.
One of my preferences would be The Walking Fool, the newest bottle from the family which produces Caymus. It features tons of opulent dark fruit, some nice chocolatey notes, and a hefty body.
You could also go straight for a dessert wine that ratchets up the sweetness while maintaining a similar flavor profile.
In that case, Lambert Estates from Australia makes a delicious chocolate-infused port-style wine called The Chocolatier, which does precisely what you would expect it to do. Pro-tip, try pouring just a bit of it over ice cream!
This wine does not quite fit the niche of traditional Saint-Emilion, nor does it immediately remind me of Washington state wine.
It is a sort of middle-of-the-road offering. It does not quite capture the best of both worlds but does a very solid job trying to do so.