front label looks like “RVTZ”
Sonoma County, CA; 14.3% ABV
$10 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 11 June
Seedboy said of this wine, “Needs air but ends up a nice balanced pinot.” 5-Star Bar added, “Up front a complex, elegant, seductive bouquet leapt out like Pinot perfume from the glass. On the palate a superbly balanced blend of intense, authentic red berry flavors melded seamlessly with a pleasant dollop of slightly spicy oak on the finish.” I thought those descriptions sounded promising, so I got a bottle, but I was disappointed.
Upon opening this bottle, I poured out half of it into 375ml (half) bottle and closed it with a stopper and very little air. The half remaining in the bottle was consumed over nearly four hours. It starts off with simple strawberry candy, and does indeed greatly improve to show more “authentic” and “balanced” red berry and cherry fruit. However, to my taste, the finish was always strongly SweeTart, an artificial fruit candy that I really think wine should not taste like. I feel like I’ve been making this complaint a lot lately, but, well, that’s how it is. Anyway, I still have the other half bottle, so maybe that will be better.
I was indeed surprised how much better the second half was. The SweeTart flavor was almost completely gone, replaced with full flavors of dark, ripe cherry / nearly plum, earth (almost cola), and a little orange. However, the acid seemed a bit strong, suggesting, in its almost-vinegar-ness, that the wine is close to getting too old. I guess I can call it Drinkable, but I’d hope for more from a $10 wine at the GO.