For those who fear wine websites only review wines they like, a tit-for-tat deal to ensure the steady flow of free samples, read on. Stewed cherries, black raspberries, and artificial vanilla flavor create a mish-mash that cannot be recommended. The Palate Press Grand Tasting panel awarded this an overly-generous two out of five stars.
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This red blend is a real Frankenwine, lots of different parts sewn together creating a bit of a monster. Candied cherry shines through on the nose from the Sangiovese, but on the palate the Syrah blasts its way to the fore. Smoked meat, blackberries, and sage are there, but they're fighting it out with the Cabernet's blackcurrants and black cherry from the Merlot. Tannins are powerful to the point of harsh. Acids are just as big. The two together, along with the kitchen sink blend, make for an aggressive mouthful of wine. It might settle down settle down and knit together in five to ten years, but right now if you put it in your mouth it just tries to fight its way out to look for a village to burn and a kid to throw in the river.
A very juicy fruit-forward wine sprinkled with white pepper and allspice. Blackberries and figs lead the attack, giving way to black cherry cola, pepper, and vanilla on the mid-palate. Tannins are sweet and smooth. Acid is quite powerful, even a little bit tingly, but should settle down over time. Drink with pork roast.
An interesting wine. It's northern Rhône on the nose, all smoke and olives, but on the palate, it is Golden State all the way. Figs, plums, and black cherry are shouldered aside by very sweet mocha and caramel. The mouth feel is very soft. There is little acid, leaving the wine just a little bit out of balance, but very reasonably priced. Drink with a sloppy barbecued beef sandwich and fries.
Aromas of black fruit, blackberry, earth, plums, and a touch of red raspberry on the edges. The nose seems quite dark and the Syrah showed through as the most prominent component to me, even though it only comprises 20% of the blend. On the palate I found flavors reminiscent of black plum, cedar, earth, blackberry, smoke, spice, red currants, and herbs. Overall it has good acidity and structure. Personally I would have preferred a little less Carignan in the blend.
Bright, medium-deep intensity, ruby with some purple. On the nose, dark fruit, bramble, blueberry, black cherry, raspberry jam. All fruits are on their way to being cooked, but not stewed. New oak, baking spice, vanilla, some herbs—but not prominent. Dry, medium+ body, medium intensity. Fruits confirmed: black cherry, raspberry, plum, jam. Toasted oak, vanilla, cinnamon, and coffee on the palate. Medium acidity, medium tannin, medium alcohol, medium-long finish. The spice from the oak and some fruit linger. In summary, this is a fairly decent table wine, especially given the price. The finish is really good for a wine that might be presumed to be "low quality." No doubt this is mass-produced, but is an excellent every day wine. I'll definitely buy again.