Rare Red Blend is a term Wine-Searcher uses for red wines made from unusual or rarely seen combinations of grape varieties (see also Rare White Blend). It also proves convenient for those wines whose blend is unknown or unpublished.
Although typically complex, many rare red-wine blends do conform to a certain patterns. Many are regional twists on the classic Bordeaux Blend; by adding their local signature grape to a basic Cabernet-Merlot blend, many regions have successfully broadened the appeal of their wines while maintaining a degree of regionality. In Italy, this is done with local specialties such as Sangiovese, Montepulciano and even Trentino's idiosyncratic Lagrein. In Austria it is achieved with Zweigelt or Blaufrankisch, and sometimes both.
Some wineries deliberately draw attention to their complicated or unusual blends. The "Quintology" wine produced by New Zealand's Matariki winery is so called because it is made from five classic varieties; quint is the Latin prefix denoting "five". Across the Pacific, noted Chilean winery Viña Errazuriz makes a wine labeled as "The Blend".
The range of possible blends which might fall into the Rare Red Blend category is vast. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Italy – a country famed for its seemingly endless array of obscure varieties. It would raise few eyebrows in Italy if a winemaker blended Sangiovese and Barbera with Marzemino and Groppello. One such wine is in fact produced from vineyards overlooking Lake Garda.