Life can be overwhelming sometimes. Between work, family, and commitments, you can sometimes feel like a prisoner to the man. Luckily, you’re not and can (ironically) drink to that with The Prisoner Red Blend 2015. The Prisoner Wine Company is a California producer based in Rutherford, Napa Valley, and is known for its highly acclaimed proprietary blends. The Prisoner Founder and Winemaker Dave Phinney’s deep respect for the vineyards is rooted in an early attempt to make a sophisticated wine from a difficult site. Although he was frustrated by a situation that had him using every tool at his disposal and still coming up short, he learned lessons that inform his vineyard selection process now. Most of Phinney’s time is spent exploring vineyard sites, meeting with growers and selecting the fruit that will be vinified and blended into The Prisoner. His method for vineyard selection includes assessing the site, soil, varietal, grower and provenance, or the history, of the vineyard. This blend combines Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono, many of the grapes from sites well-known for growing mixed blacks, the wine’s inspiration. The wine is inky burgundy in color and has legs that linger in the glass and slide down. It’s aroma is spice-filled and cherry. The spice travels onto the palate with hints of tobacco, dark fruit, and light tannins. It has a jammy quality to it. I found it online for about $40. I paired it with red velvet cupcakes. 3.5/5.