Leviathan Red Blend is produced differently each and every year. The winemaker sources Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Franc from some of the finest sites in California.
While the exact sites and quantities change vintage to vintage, some of the regions which have contributed juice in the past include Coombsville, Red Hills, Moon Mountain, Fountain Grove, and the Sierra Foothills.
All of that is well and good, but an unskilled craftsman couldn’t make anything out of the world’s finest materials.
Enter legendary winemaker Andy Erickson. Andy Erickson has worked for legendary cult wineries Ovid, Screaming Eagle, Dalle Valle, and numerous others over the years.
Andy founded Leviathan as a passion project back in 2004, but it has since developed a reasonable reputation of its own.
Leviathan Red Blend Review
I must admit going into this review that I am a bit biased. I have loved every vintage of Leviathan that I’ve had but intend to go in blind and without any expectations.
According to James Suckling (one of the wine world’s major reviewers), this vintage is composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petite Verdot.
The wine itself is gorgeous. It is as inky dark in the glass as the bottom of the ocean. If you tilt the glass and look at the rim of the wine or the “meniscus” in wine jargon, you will notice that it is a lovely shade of deep purple.
Thick, heavy legs form and fall slowly as the wine is swirled around the glass.
Rich aromas of baked blackberry, black cherries, and strawberry jam come across intensely on the nose. This is intermingled with notes of dried violet, vanilla, cocoa powder, tobacco, and graphite.
The blending of a number of grapes which are not usually paired with one another, creates a fun and complex smell in which you could get lost in.
The wine is as complex in taste as it is in smell. Dense dark berry notes, chalky minerality, savory oak, and subtle herbaceousness come together nicely.
Even though it does not seem to be the majority of the blend, the Petite Verdot in this lends a lot to the wine, from dense blue fruit to lovely floral notes.
The wine is rich and juicy without coming across as too sweet and features just enough tannin and acidity to hold everything together.
What does Leviathan Red Blendpair with?
Leviathan is a meat eater’s dream come true. I strongly recommend pairing this with dry-aged steak, purple sweet potatoes, and grilled mushrooms.
The savory notes weave together very nicely. That said, you could also do a heartier beef-based stew and get a lot of the same synergy, which I loved about the first pairing.
What are wines that are similar to Leviathan Red Blend?
Now, this is a fun question. I would explore the Orin Swift line, such as Papillon, Abstract, and Machete.
This is because they are all unconventional blends featuring a lot of the same powerful varietals which are present in Leviathan. They also have a similar structure and a style that falls into the same vein.
On top of that, I would try Harvey & Harriet from Paso Robles. It is a secondary label from Booker and is a blend of Cabernet and Syrah.
Finally, I recommend trying single-varietal Petite Sirah since it is the “secret sauce,” so to speak, in so many of the blends which fall into this style.
Once again, this wine has impressed me. I can honestly say that I have had wines at twice the price, which do not offer the same complexity or value.
While I admit that there is no one wine that everyone will love, this bottle puts in work trying.