The Prisoner//Red Blend

From the tasting notes:

The Prisoner was inspired by the mixed blacks first made by the Italian immigrants who originally settled in Napa Valley.  The Prisoner is now the most recognized Napa Valley red blend, leading the resurgence of interesting blends…

The notes go on to explain that the blend is a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Charbono, Syrah, Petite Syrah and Zinfandel that came from over 80 of California’s premier vineyards.

I tasted the 2015 vintage of The Prisoner wine.  Quite nouveau at the time of tasting!

Sample received for review purposes.


Garnet in color, The Prisoner is quite dark in the glass.  Just a little bit of light shines through.

It’s leggy with both slow and fast falling legs.


Noticeable from a good foot away, I noted aromas of dark chocolate with a side of Fig Newton!

Yes, that Fig Newton.

Up closer to the glass I picked up some cherry and a fair bite of alcohol.

The Prisoner alcohol content 15.2% by volume, per the bottle.  That’s a little up there in terms of alcohol content.


On the palate I got some ripe raspberry and pomegranate at the start, along with other juicy red fruits.

That then gave way to a sweeter vanilla flavor.

Mouthfeel and Tannins

The wine’s mouthfeel was quite silky.

Tannins were masked but noticeable enough behind the upper lip.


The finish was long and lasting, smooth and luscious.

I did note a bit of bitterness that was different than a normal tannin-like bitterness.

While certainly very drinkable, I suspect the wine needs another year to mature in the bottle.

I’m guessing this is due to the Charbono which is known for needing time to mature.

Overall Opinion

Overall, I really enjoyed The Prisoner wine.  It’s a smooth sipper on its own with a lovely aroma and a nice blend of flavors.

Do let it age a while before opening, however.

The Prisoner wine price $47.00 available direct from The Prisoner Wine Company.

Suggested Food Pairing

Through some research I discovered that Charbono, AKA Bonarda, is sometimes paired with hickory smoked beef brisket.

While I don’t know the percentage of Charbono in the blend, I think that would go well with this wine and it sounds darn tasty to me!

About The Author

Jon is the creator and owner of Honest Wine Reviews, a website that reviews today's popular wines and wine clubs. His book, "Wine With Friends - 25 Recommended Wines to Serve and Share" is now available on Amazon.

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