2018 Taken "Taken" Napa Valley Red Wine

2018 Taken

¥6,600 (incl. tax)

The winery’s flagship,“Taken,” embodies the goal of the founders, Josh Phelps and Carlo Trinchero, to forge a new path for Napa Valley wine. For the second vintage in a row, “Taken” is less a traditional Bordeaux blend but an exciting fusion of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Zinfandel, 11% Merlot, 7% Malbec, and 2% Petite Sirah. Winemaker Rebecca Jain calls the 2018 Taken Red Blend, “a careful balancing act of light and dark,” with a perfume of ripe raspberry, blackberry, and plum anticipating flavors of roasted fig and dark chocolate. The wine is also unusual for aging just four months in mostly neutral French oak. The complexity of aroma and flavor derives almost entirely from the fruit, and the texture is full and robust with rich, supple tannins on the finish. This is a wine that asks to be drunk now while its flavors are fresh and bold. 


Winery Description

For most of us, an enthusiasm for fine wine hits in our thirties, while the notion of starting a winery may signal the onset of a mid-life crisis. But for Josh Phelps and Carlo Trinchero, the entrepreneurs behind the Taken Wine Company, founding a Napa winery soon after graduating from college seemed like the right thing to do. They say wine is in their DNA after growing up in St. Helena in winemaking families. Indeed, where they stand out from the norm may be in their confidence at reaching fellow millennials, who appear to prefer pale ale over Sauvignon Blanc. Josh and Carlo released their first vintage of Taken Red Wine, a blend of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, in 2010. But they have quickly grown from just 100 cases sold to friends to 12,000 in 2014 that are available in every US state - as well as here in Japan. While the Taken Red Wine Cabernet/Merlot continues to be their flagship product, they also produce “Complicated,” a Grenache/Syrah blend sourced from the Central Coast, as well as “Available,” a Sauvignon Blanc/Muscat designated as “California” but mainly from Mendocino County. The whimsical names derive partly from experience and partly from their goal to make wines that are fun and meant to be shared with friends. The story goes that while brainstorming for a name for the company, they found that all the good ones were “taken.” As for “Complicated” and “Available,” frequent users of social media (i.e. the younger, target demographic) should understand such “status updates.” Kidding aside, these wines are crafted for delicious drinking upon release. The affordable prices mean they are yours for the “taking!”

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Napa Valley
Winery Taken
Vintage 2018
Color Red
Varietal(s) 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Zinfandel, 11% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 2% Petit Syrah
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 31.0
Case Size 27.5 x 18.0 x 32.0
Alcohol 14.3%
Product Code TK18NR
UPC 819498010084

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

91 points – James Suckling.

Alluring aromas of raspberry, blackberry, black currant, and plum play with delicate floral notes. A full-bodied palate of quince, fig, and dark chocolate hints of jasmine and vanilla bean. Finishes with rich, supple tannins and notes of currants and wet earth.



Aged 4 months in 25% new oak (86% French, 7% American, 7% Hungarian).

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