2018 Taken "Complicated" Monterey County Red Wine

2018 Taken

¥3,190 (incl. tax)

In Spain and Southern France, winemakers know that Grenache and Syrah go together like… peas in a pod? hugs and kisses? peanut butter and jelly? Grenache brings bright strawberry and raspberry flavors – but potentially more alcohol and less acidity for a well-balanced wine. Syrah darkens the color and adds tannic structure and notes of blueberry and spice. Taken’s 2018 “Complicated” was sourced from vineyards in the Central Coast, a.k.a., the “Rhone Zone.” In Monterrey County’s Arroyo Seco ava, west of the Salinas River, sunshine is abundant, yet temperatures are tempered by the influence of the Pacific Ocean. The blend of 69% Grenache and 31% Syrah was aged in French oak. It’s a juicy, opulent wine with an excellent balance of bright fruit, acidity and tannin. This red blend offers great value and is ready to drink – especially with whatever comes off the grill. 


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) Monterey County
Winery Taken
Vintage 2018
Color Red
Varietal(s) 69% Grenache, 31% Syrah
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 29.5
Case Size 35.5 x 27.0 x 30.5
Alcohol 14.1%
Product Code TK18CR
UPC 819498010022

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

Bright aromas of raspberry, blackberry, and violets are framed with notes of tea and chocolate. The palate is opulent but balanced with juicy ripe raspberry and cherry, and notes of cassis, cocoa, and vanilla that linger into the finish.



Picked and processed separately, the Grenache and Syrah grapes underwent a few days of cold soaking for better color before being inoculated with a yeast strain and fermented in stainless steel tanks. They were aged separately in mostly French but also some American oak before the best lots were selected for the final blend.

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