Exitus Red Wine

Exitus Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine
And Now for Something Completely Different

The Exitus winery is located in Parlier, California, about 20 miles southeast of Fresno. I don’t know how badass the people of Parlier are, but it’s certainly the image that Exitus is trying to cultivate. Their one current offering is Exitus Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine. It is fermented in the usual stainless steel. But, rather than using traditional barrels expressly made for wine, Exitus is matured for three months in charred barrels that were previously used for the production of Kentucky Bourbon. The schtick is supported by distributing the wine in clear liquor bottles.

Exitus is a blend of Zinfandel, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Merlot, sporting a robust 15.9% ABV. The wine displays a dark but bright cherry color in the glass (as well as the bottle). The alcohol is evident on the nose of the first pour, but gives way to aromas of dark berry, leather, and tobacco thereafter. After about an hour, Exitus becomes surprisingly well-behaved, with flavors of ripe dark stone fruit, dusty chocolate, and spices. Things wrap up with a bit of oak, vanilla, and balanced tannin. Interestingly, Exitus had me thinking about a glass of port for after dinner.

Try this wine with sweet and sour baby back ribs, thyme-scented pork loin with grapes and port, or sloppy joe burgers.  But do it soon.  As clever as that clear bottle is, the wine won’t age gracefully in it.


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