Country singer Zac Brown's Uncaged wine pours in Raleigh

Zac Brown Chardonnay Wine.jpg

By Jennifer Primrose

When one thinks of quality wine they think in the likes of Robert Foley, Caymus, Silver Oak or Opus One, but what about Dave Matthews, AC/DC, Wayne Gretzky, Jeff Gordon or Francis Ford Coppola?

In recent years celebrities have hopped on the wine train and started up their own wineries. Wines that have a "celebrity" name attached to them are always hit or miss, which is why we tend to avoid the misses and steer towards the ones we know are good and can appreciate. But we're also adventurous and enjoy trying new wines and new varietals. So when we saw that BottleMixx in north Raleigh was featuring the wines of Z. Alexander Brown aka Zac Brown, Grammy award-winning country singer, we had to go check it out for ourselves.

We learned a lot that evening about how Z. Alexander Brown wines came about. Zac Brown, we learned, is not new to wines or the restaurant industry. When he decided to delve into the winery business he sought out wineries and winemakers to partner with. His search led him to a collaboration with Napa Valley winemaker, John Killebrew, of Delicato Family Vineyards. Other brands produced by this family-owned winery include Black Stallion, Gnarly Head and Twisted – to name a few.

Zac Brown is involved with every aspect of his wines which includes a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Proprietary Red Blend – all from California. The label is titled Uncaged and sports an owl on the label signifying the guardian of the vine.

These wines are described as "intense, full-bodied and are expressions of the land where they come from."

Uncaged Chardonnay 2016 - Santa Lucia Highlands 

Not being big Chardonnay fans we always try with a skeptical nose. This was a Chardonnay we could enjoy with its nice acidity and balance, not too oaky or buttery but with a toasty vanilla undertone.

Uncaged Pinot Noir 2015 - Monterey, Napa, Sonoma

This wine was sourced from multiple growing regions. It was light, fruity, with nice acidity and balance.

Uncaged Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 - North Coast

The Cabernet Sauvignon displayed aromas of black cherry and mocha with a mid-palate of blackberry, black current and a hint of spice. It was a nice Cab and would pair nicely with a meal.

Uncaged Proprietary Red Blend 2013 - North Coast

This was by far our favorite of the tasting. This was a rich, bold and flavorful wine with aromas of blueberry, cassis and cedar with layers of blueberry, black cherry and spices.

As for our first impression of the Z. Alexander Brown Uncaged wines, we thought they were good and solid wines. It was also nice to hear how involved Zac Brown is in his product and not just using his name on the label but to actually take pride in what is being produced. All of these wines retail for around $16.99 a bottle.