|Ray Coursen. Credit: Purple Heart Wines|
Ray Coursen, a Vietnam Veteran and advocate for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, is the winemaker for Purple Heart Wines, and consulting winemaker David Grega is an Iraq War veteran. Ray has 30 years of winemaking experience in Napa, and he has teamed up with his neighbors at the Peter Mondavi family to create a Napa red blend with heart and purpose.
“It’s a wine we create without sacrifice to pay tribute to those who make sacrifices for us,” Coursen says.
Purple Heart Wines also offers up Ray’s own story and tells more stories of guts and dedication among members of the armed services. Pour yourself a glass and read some of these humbling stories of bravery.
The brand’s public relations spokesperson told me they plan to make an initial $10,000 donation this month. And, based on how the wine sells, the company will donate up to $50,000 per year to the Purple Heart Foundation. They also offer a link on their website to donate directly.
So, is the wine good? Well, yes. I liked it. I’m glad it doesn’t cost $60, because it’s not a wine that improve with ten years in the cellar, and an expensive bottle would make it difficult for the average consumer to participate in this endeavor. It’s not easy to make a compelling red blend from Napa (some of the most expensive vineyard land anywhere) and retail it for $20. In that context, this wine is damn good.
2013 Purple Heart Wines - California, Napa Valley
Vibrant ruby color. Smells candied and sweet with strawberry jam and black cherries topped with cinnamon, licorice and milk chocolate. Smooth tannins, low acidity, juicy and slightly candied fruit. I get raspberry, strawberry and blackberry jams with flavors of coffee, chocolate and vanilla. Simple but pleasant. 84% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. (85 points)
To support this effort, you can purchase the wine directly by clicking this link. To find the 2013 Purple Heart red at a store near you, click here.