Sonoma, CA, USA
Unspecified blend (Rhône varietals + Zinfandel?), 15.4% alc.
$6 at the Oakland, CA store
This one was a gamble (well, all GO wines are, but some are riskier than others), although there are many good tasting notes for this winery on CellarTracker. The wine pours inky dark purple-red and exhibits a somewhat hot, sharp nose of roasted dark fruits (plum, blackberry, and blueberry?) with a faint note of something unpleasantly toward the solventy end of tarry and slightly brambly, subdued pepper aromas, making me wonder if there’s Petite Syrah in the mix. It’s too much of a varietal soup for me to pick out any single grape with confidence, however. Blending is a bit of an art; sometimes, the resulting wine benefits from synergies among complementary strengths and weakness. Other times, it seems that the blend can be no better than the worst wine in the vat, and blending just dilutes flaws rather than fixing them.
Overall, I found this wine to be a bit one-dimensional and too hot on the palate, with a somewhat astringent finish, even though there are obviously some ripe tannins in there. There’s an abundance of muscular fruit here too, but I felt that this wine lacks balance and is just sort of difficult to like, thickly coating your tongue without providing much pleasure. Swirling it around in my giant Riedel glass didn’t bring out much good in the way of aromatic complexity, nor did air over the next hour or next two days. This reminds me more of some of the overweight Syrahs and blends I’ve had from So. Cal rather than a Sonoma Valley wine. If you like a big bruiser of a Rhône Ranger, you may enjoy this wine more than I did.