The Metal Bender line of wines is named in honor of the Stringer Family’s manufacturing business in Wisconsin. The business stamps, machines and fabricates metal into components used in industries throughout America. They are “Metal Benders”.
The wines blended in the Metal Bender Red Blend come from premier AVA’s throughout California. The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from both a very famous vineyard in Rutherford in Napa Valley and a vineyard in Sonoma Valley. The Syrah comes from Ballard Canyon in Santa Barbara County and the Petite Sirah from Calistoga in Napa Valley.
The Metal Blend started as a barrel selection of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah barrels. A dollop of Syrah was added for complexity.
Varietal Composition: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petite Sirah and 10% Syrah
Winery: Stringer Cellars
Owners: The Stringer Family
Location: Windsor, California
Stringer Cellars now makes their wine in Napa Valley and at a winery in the heart of Sonoma County. It’s a whole family affair: Casey serves as lead winemaker, Chip oversees operations, his brothers, Andrew and Tim, help with marketing and sales and his wife, Brooke can often be found pouring tastings behind the bar. Their winemaking philosophy is simple: Use the finest grapes they can find from the best vineyard sites in California to make small-lot wines you will not soon forget. Casey employs minimalist winemaking techniques, allowing the fruit and individual vineyards to shine through in each bottle.
At Stringer Cellars we believe that “wine is made in the vineyard.” To us, the most important aspect of the quality of the finished wine is the initial quality of the grapes used to make it. Simply, you need great grapes to make great wine. To that end, we feel privileged to be working with fruit from some of the finest vineyards in America.
At Stringer Cellars we make wine that we want to drink. We embrace the highest winemaking standards along with traditional techniques to create wines that can be both powerful and elegant. This process is not the easiest way, but we feel it is the best way.
The wines made at Stringer Cellars are meant to be enjoyed around a table shared with friends and family, paired with laughter and great food.
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@TimW I’ve to disagree on this. One bottle out of the three I opened was corked. I have no idea how, but it was. And the one after that… I don’t know: it now always have an aftertaste of either heavy oak or cork.
Time for some Rattage! The wine arrived in a dark bottle with attractive label and bare cork. No capsule was in packaging if you care about that kind of thing. Missing a capsule is not a big deal to me unless your home is being tented for termites in in which case you will need to put your wine in a special bag supplied by your pest control company. Apparently capsules protect the wine against Vikane gas but I am otherwise not quite sure of what other functions they serve.
On to opening the wine…the wine on pour has a beautiful deep purple hue, ostensibly from the Petite Sirah. Putting my nose into the glass I appreciated the pleasant sensations of blackberry, plum, and bramble. Time to taste…
This is a big wine and according to vintage charts is not quite ready to drink. The wine is approachable and has excellent mouth feel on first approach. After initial plum and dark berries impression came a rush of high acidity so I quickly found some cheese to pair with it. The acidity of the wine stood up to the salt and creaminess of the cheese and made for a pleasant combination. The most remarkable feature of this wine is the distinctive long finish. The finish is earthy, complex, tannic, with a slight hint of bitterness and I suspect the tannins will mellow considerably in the next 2-3 years. The finish lasted a full 15 seconds (I timed it). Moving on to the next pairing, a grilled porterhouse steak. The wine complimented the steak and creamy mashed potatoes and string beans with olive oil. The wine definitely stood up to the bold flavors of the steak dinner. Final pairing was with milk chocolate which worked in a kind of sweet and sour kind of way but did not pair with chocolate like a fruit bomb zin would. In summary this is a big bold and tannic blend of Cab and Petite Sirah which has not yet hit peak drinking window in my opinion. I would recommend cellaring for at least 2 years but is drinkable now when paired with fatty and salty foods like cheese and steak. On the App I use to scan wines (begins with a V!) this wine is described as bold, tannic, acidic, and dry. I agree with their characterization and would actually rate it a little higher on the tannic and acidic scales. Given the listed retail price and Casemates price I believe this offer presents a very attractive qpr.
Another labrat report here. My wife and I have started drinking less of our big heavy reds as we’ve finally started getting summer here in the NorthEast. I was a little nervous about drinking a cab/petite sirah combo, but generally found the wine good and enjoyable even in the heat.
First impression was how strong the tannins were, to the point it was a little astringent. It ended up calming down quite nicely however.
It’s a fruit forward wine with mostly berries coming to the top. As it opened up the deeper notes came out more with vanilla being the strongest. Through the the bottle it was an approachable fruit forward wine, without being jammy or viscious.
In my notes I wrote that I’d think it was ok at $14 a bottle, but that $12 would be a point that I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a good summer drinker, but still want something on the more big side of the red spectrum.