Do you like your wine dry, full-bodied, and inky dark? If so, the aptly named Jigar Raja is for you. Jigar is a Urdu/Hindi word meaning love and affection, courage, heat, or one who lives life to the fullest. Raja means king or prince, and this wine is certainly a king! It is a red blend from California’s north coast that has everything you could ask for in a big, bold red wine.
Jigar Wines is a family-owned winery located in Sonoma County. They utilize small production techniques with a focus on showcasing the terroir of the region. The area’s diverse climates and geography allow for a wide range of grapes to grow successfully. Sonoma County is known in particular for Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, but over 60 varieties are grown in the region, including Petite Sirah, Syrah, Malbec, and Merlot.
About the Wine
Petite Sirah is the dominant varietal in Jigar Raja, comprising 46% of the wine. It originated in France, but easily found a home in California. It is responsible for the deep, inky purple color of Raja, as well as notes of blueberry, plum, chocolate, and pepper.
Syrah (23%) is another grape that produces full-bodied, high tannin, dark purple wines with loads of dark fruit, pepper, and spices. It enhances the richness and opulence of Raja.
Merlot (23%) is the even-keeled grape in this blend. While the other grapes are known for making ultra-dry and very bold wines, Merlot is known for being smooth, velvety, and fruit forward. Even though Merlot can be fuller-bodied, the big fruit and round tannins help keep the other grapes from being overly aggressive and give Raja a smooth mouthfeel.
Malbec (8%) offers even more tannin and inky coloring, along with purple fruit, chocolate, green vegetables, and gravel notes. As opposed to Argentine Malbec, California Malbec tends to have a touch of earthiness, which adds to the blend’s complexity.
Make sure to give Raja a good swirl before sipping- this will help open up the full range of aromas for this special, complex wine. The tannins might be a little tight when you first open the bottle, but will open up nicely with a few minutes to breathe- assuming you can wait that long!
If you’re sipping in the shop, try it with our charcuterie board- the fatty meats and cheese will help balance the high tannin wine. If you’re taking a bottle home with you, pair it with grilled red meat and richly spiced vegetable dishes and you’re taste buds will thank you!