Wine Tasting Note:  Imperial Red Semi-Sweet 2018

Wine Region: Los Angeles, California
My Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Varietal:  American Ruby Cabernet (Cross Between Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan)

The American Ruby Cabernet is a red grape variety or “Red Blend” that is a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan. This grape is primarily grown in California, but it can also be found in other wine regions around the world.

The Ruby Cabernet was bred with the intention of combining the robustness and heat tolerance of Carignan with the fine qualities and structure of Cabernet Sauvignon. The result is a grape that is vigorous and resistant to disease, producing a high yield of fruit per vine.

Wines produced from the Ruby Cabernet grape are typically simplistic and easy-drinking, with notes of cherry and blackberries. They have good color and a pleasant fruitiness, often with an earthy character. These wines tend to have high acidity and alcohol content, making them robust and full-bodied.

Despite its promising characteristics, Ruby Cabernet has not gained widespread recognition as a standalone varietal wine, but it is often used in blends to add color and body.

Imperial Red Semi-Sweet 2018
More on:  Red Blend

A “Red Blend” is a term used in the wine industry to refer to wines that are made from a blend of different red grape varieties. The blend could be two or more of the “noble” grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir, or it could include less well-known or regional varieties. The exact composition of a red blend can vary widely from winery to winery, and even from year to year, depending on the characteristics of the harvest.

The goal of blending is to create a wine that incorporates the best characteristics of each variety, resulting in a balanced and well-rounded wine. For example, a winemaker might blend a high-tannin grape like Cabernet Sauvignon with a more fruity and low-tannin grape like Merlot to achieve a balance of structure and fruitiness.

In some regions, certain blends are traditional. For example, Bordeaux red wines are typically blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. In other regions, winemakers have the freedom to experiment and create their own unique blends.

About the Wine Maker: San Antonio Winery

San Antonio Winery, located in Los Angeles, California, is a historic winery that has been in operation for over 100 years. Founded by Santo Cambianica in 1917, it has remained a family-owned business, now managed by the fourth generation of the Riboli family. Despite the challenges of Prohibition and the Great Depression, San Antonio Winery thrived, becoming the number one provider of altar wines. Today, the winery has vineyards in Paso Robles, Monterey, and Napa Valley, and it is recognized as one of the most-awarded wineries in California.

Wine Region Details: Element

Los Angeles, California, USA, is a somewhat unexpected wine region in Southern California. Encompassing six different American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), the county is home to a diversity of wineries and vineyards. The region is known for its unique microclimates and varied topography, which allows for the cultivation of a wide range of grape varieties.

The most famous AVAs in Southern California include Malibu, Temecula Valley, and San Diego County. Malibu, in particular, is well-known for its beautiful beaches, rocky cliffs, and more recently, its celebrated local wineries and tasting rooms. Its close proximity to Los Angeles makes for an easy, memorable, and fun day of wine tasting.

The region’s wine production is not as extensive as that of Napa or Sonoma, but it offers a unique wine-tasting experience with its boutique wineries and stunning landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned wine enthusiast or a novice looking to explore, the wine region of Los Angeles, California, offers a unique blend of wine, culture, and scenic beauty.

Original:  Wine Tasting Note

With four generations of winemaking tradition, San Antonio Winery remains the oldest and largest-producing winery in LA. Succulent silky notes of cherry and raspberry in the bouquet come from the use of highly rated Ruby Cabernet grapes. A combination of pleasant aromas, smooth sweet flavor, and mouthfeel make it tasty. Made from American Ruby Cabernet grapes and we served it chilled with grilled lamb chops marinated in white truffle oil, Herbes de Provence spices and fresh rosemary. Absolutely delicious

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

The Imperial Red Semi-Sweet 2018, with its rich and fruity profile, pairs well with a variety of dishes. It complements spicy foods like Mexican or Thai cuisine, as well as rich, savory dishes like barbecued meats or hearty stews. It can also be enjoyed with a selection of cheeses or a fruit platter.

Visual  Inspection:

The Imperial Red Semi-Sweet 2018 has a deep, ruby-red color, indicating its richness and intensity. The wine is clear, with no signs of sediment, suggesting it has been well-filtered and is of good quality.

Swirl &  Smell the Wine:

On swirling and smelling the wine, you’ll notice a bouquet of ripe red and black fruits like cherries, blackberries, and plums. There may also be hints of sweet spices, vanilla, and a touch of oak, indicating that the wine has been aged in barrels.

Taste the  Wine:

On the palate, the Imperial Red Semi-Sweet 2018 is rich and fruity, with flavors mirroring the aromas detected on the nose. The wine is semi-sweet, making it approachable and enjoyable for those who prefer a touch of sweetness in their red wines. Despite its sweetness, the wine is well-balanced, with a good level of acidity to prevent it from being cloying.

Evaluate the  Finish:

The wine has a medium to long finish, with fruity and spicy flavors lingering on the palate. The tannins are soft and well-integrated, adding structure to the wine without being overly dominant. This makes the Imperial Red Semi-Sweet 2018 a well-rounded and enjoyable wine to drink.

Final Thoughts

The Imperial Red Semi-Sweet 2018 is a delightful wine that offers a unique tasting experience. Its rich ruby color, inviting aromas, and complex flavors make it a standout choice for both novice and seasoned wine enthusiasts. The wine’s versatility in pairing with a variety of dishes adds to its appeal, making it a great choice for any occasion. The craftsmanship of the Riboli family and their commitment to quality is evident in every sip of this wine. Whether you’re enjoying a quiet evening at home or celebrating a special occasion, the Imperial Red Semi-Sweet 2018 is sure to enhance the moment. So, uncork a bottle, pour a glass, and savor the rich heritage and exquisite taste of this remarkable wine.


Maximilian D. Lucena