It’s been a looooong time since I’ve tasted Gallo Hearty Burgundy. It was one of the first stops on my wine journey many moons ago. How many moons ago? I’m not exactly sure, but Gallo is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Gallo Hearty Burgundy with a special bottling to honor “America’s First Iconic Red Blend”
To celebrate the golden anniversary of Hearty Burgundy, Gallo Family Vineyards has produced a limited edition bottle that pays homage to the original flavor profile that first brought Americans into wine in the 1960s and 1970s.
Honesty Gallo Hearty Burgundy is a wine that was no longer on my radar, I received this bottle as a sample. That’s because my palate has evolved over the years, and I’ve come to enjoy more complex wines. But wines like Gallo Hearty Burgundy are where most wine lovers start their journey. A relative few dive headlong into wine, but I think most folks just want to have an affordable glass of wine they enjoy. That’s where the most widely available brand come into the picture.
And it’s those most widely available, cheapest brands that most wine writers and bloggers (myself included) avoid. In large part, I think, because the folks who drink the least expensive brands are not the same folks who read critical reviews of wine. They’re not the typical wine writers audience.
When I received a bottle of Gallo Hearty Burgundy, I thought it would be cool to post about it. This one’s for the everyday folks who want to drink wine, but not think wine!
E&J Gallo Winery was founded in 1933 by Ernest Gallo and Julio Gallo. From their very humble beginnings Gallo Family Vineyards has evolved into the world’s largest family-owned winery and the largest exporter of California wine. In addition to the Gallo Family Vineyards brand, the company makes, markets, and distributes wine under more than 60 other labels.
The company has been at the forefront of both sustainable wine growing practices and the marketing of wine (Click here for complete history).
According to Gallo, this special bottling was crafted after careful consultation with the blend’s original winemakers to offer the same generous flavor profile, and approachability.
Although the exact grape varieties that compose the blend vary from vintage to vintage, two grapes have always part of the blend , Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah. Gallo is secretive about the exact blend, but my guess would be that this bottling also has some Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Tempranillo in it. It’s a non-vintage (now more appropriately referred to as multi-vintage) wines.
Hearty Burgundy has been credited with not only introducing Americans to wine, but also for putting American wines on the map during an era when spirits dominated consumption.
I was surprised to learn that Hearty Burgundy graced the cover of TIME in 1972 as part of an article about the booming California wine industry. In the feature, wine critic Robert Balzer called the wine “…the best wine value in the country today” as it outscored more expensive California and French reds for the TIME Board of Oenologists.
Obviously California wine has come a long way since then, but this wine has stayed true to its original tenet – a great tasting American red blend with big, generous flavors and a value proposition that helped put wine on America’s dinner table.
And if you’ve got a recipe calling for red wine, this is a great bottle of wine to use (Tip: Only cook with wine you’d drink – do not cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink). I used it to make Boneless Beef Short Ribs, which turned out great!
My tasting notes follow:
Inky purple color with low key fresh dark fruits, milk chocolate and a hint of spice aromas. On the palate , it’s medium-bodied with med-low acidity, and easy, likable black cherry, plum and spice flavors. Short finish.
Rating: B : This is a solid everyday table wine that I didn’t expect to enjoy, but I did. And it’s very affordable at around $9 for a 1.5 liter bottle.
Disclosure: I received a 1.5 liter bottle of Hearty Burgundy from Gallo Family Vineyards at no charge. I was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions on this blog are my own unless otherwise stated.
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.
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