Grapes: Unknown “proprietary blend”.
Place of origin: Michigan
Price: $8 (only available at Westborn Market supermarkets)
Appearance: Dark burgundy.
Nose: Dried fig, plum, toasted oak, smoked ham.
Palate: Fruity and tart with a big dose of oak. Blunt with no integration.
Finish: A little chewy, then inky.
Parting words: Market Red is a ham fisted, hybrid-heavy blend made by St. Julian for the Metro Detroit supermarket chain noted for its fine produce, emphasis on locally made products and its chaotic store layouts. They also have their own labeled products that seem to be little more than other Michigan brands with a Westborn label slapped on (e.g. their potato chips). Market Red and its white sibling seem to be relabeled versions of St. Julian’s Founders Red and White respectively, although those are labeled as Lake Michigan Shore, not simply Michigan so I could be wrong about that.
I reviewed Market White a couple weeks ago and I thought it was OK. This is not even as good as that. There’s not much going on here, and what there is isn’t interesting. $8 is cheap, but one can still do better for the money. If one wants to stick with St. Julian, I would recommend the Simply Red* as an alternative. Better yet, chip in a few extra bucks for Chateau Chantal’s Naughty Red or Nice Red. Or if one wants to stay under $10, go across the street from the Berkley Westborn Market and get something much better at Trader Joe’s for the same price or less.
*I am fully prepared to have egg on my face if Market Red is identical to Simply Red
Market Red is not recommended.