JanKris 2011 Crossfire

Paso Robles, CA
50% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Tempranillo, 10% Petite Sirah, 7% Syrah, 7% Grenache; 13.3% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 17 Oct

JanKris_2011_CrossfireI was intrigued by the number of grapes in this unique blend, and I’m not disappointed!  The wine starts out rather hard and acid, in a way that’s not pleasant yet, but promising.  Over the two hours we drank the first half of the bottle, the wine became riper, fruitier, more complex (nice dark red, black, some purple flavors) and the acid became less tart and more ripe.  By the end, it was pretty tasty, if you didn’t mind the zingy acid on the finish.

The second half, stored in a 375ml bottle and stoppered with very little air, was far better.  It was pretty good right away but still needed two hours of air before really showing its stuff. Then, it had delicious flavors of dark red cherry, boysenberry / plum, dark raspberry, a little sweet black pepper, still finishing with the tangy, ripe acid.  It’s full-bodied but not on the heavy, jammy end.  Overall, I think this is a good deal.

P.S. JWC in What’s New wrote: Getting back to the JanKris, looks like the parent company Veris was recently acuqired by Castoro Cellars in San Miguel, and the JanKris & Ben Hogan labels are being discontinued, which explains why we are seeing them at GO. The Ben Hogan Tribute appears to be the higher end of the two, selling for $28 at the winery, or at least was…The JanKris retail for around $10, so not a screaming deal here at $5.99, but both appear to have some decent reviews online.

Advertisements

28 thoughts on “JanKris 2011 Crossfire

  1. Judith

    I just bought my 3rd case of Crossfire at the GO in my home town of Tulare, CA (Central Valley). It is my “go to” red blend. Love it! Just bought some Tractor Guy Pinot and Long Barn Red to try out. After hearing JanKris was bought out by Castoro, makes me want to buy more. LOVE the GO and am happy to read your posts. Have written down some ideas. Am going to Central Coast this weekend & will check out the GO in SanLuis Obispo. SO FUNNY in the middle of wine country I’m shopping for wine at the discount place. FABULOUS!

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Judith and welcome! I’m glad to hear you’ve been enjoying the Crossfire. I thought the Tractor Guy Pinot was pretty good, and I’ll be interested to hear how you like it since I would call it a bit different than the Crossfire. I’ve heard the Long Barn Red has been a best seller, so it’s probably also good. I’m sure on your trip to SLO there will be plenty of opportunities to buy expensive wine, too! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Shirl

    I just bought the 2013 JanKris Crossfire at GO and then went online to see if there were any reviews. (Looks like only for the 2011). My Grocery Outlet’s sign said the original retail price was $21. I paid $7. It is disappointing and overly acidic- barely drinkable IMO. Guess this label is still being produced(?)

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Shirl and welcome! As often happens to me, I had not paid attention enough to notice that the Crossfires in stores near me might have been from a vintage other than that which I reviewed. I’m sorry to hear it was disappointing, but thank you for your impressions of the 2013 Crossfire.

      Reply
  3. permiesworld

    FWIW, after tasting the JanKris Riatta, we opened this one to see how it compared. Of the two, this one is much more balanced. It’s still fruity but not in comparison to the Riatta. The Riatta has a slight aspirin aftertaste that I forgot to mention that in my review…but I don’t detect it here. The tannins are more detectible in this one as well. Of the two, it’s my preference.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld

      I really have to qualify that last…neither are really to my taste. This second one just has more balance to it, if that makes sense. This one, even after a 1/2 hour of being opened, would be considered “fruit forward” while the Riatta is a classic “fruit bomb”. Again, neither are disparaging…just designations that I’ve even heard winemakers use.

      Reply
  4. Ashlander

    I bought this and enjoyed it. I tasted a couple of merlot’s from GO, the Carmen and the Laurier. Both seemed very closed without much substance behind them. I tried the Jankriss later the same night and was very surprised at how much fruit there was compared to the Merlot’s. It did seem a little jammy, but I still enjoyed it. I will be buying more during the sale.

    Reply
    1. Teropage

      I tried the JanKris and I am very surprised too. I am impressed ’cause it is a fruit without a chemical staff -looks like a organic wine. I drunk with salami, bread, cheese and Italian style eggplant – wow, I love it! and I will buy more for sure, and the price…

      Reply
  5. lim13

    Now at the Silverdale store, along with the 2011 JanKriss Riatta (65% Merlot with Sangiovese, Zin, and Tempranillo blend)…both $5.99.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld

      I picked the Riatta up yesterday, mistakenly thought it was the Crossfire (reviewed by BW). The Corvallis store owner/operator was very effusive about it so I decided to go ahead and purchase even though I thought it had already been reviewed. I’m actually looking forward to it (both from the comments of the owner and reading the composition of the blend).

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi PW. Please review the Riatta! After reviewing the Crossfire and Ben Hogan Tribute Carnoustie, both from Veris, I really wanted to move on to other wines.

        Reply
        1. lim13

          I picked up one bottle of it also…but I too would prefer that you do the review, PW (which is why I never mentioned it off-line). I’ve got a busy Saturday ahead.

          Reply
  6. Richard

    I have sampled a bottle of the JanKris 2011 Crossfire and was very impressed. The wine is assertive, well balanced and packed with flavor. This is a bargain at $5!

    Reply
    1. EHL

      Like I said, BW, a lot of people would like this wine…..and in fact the Oakland GO has been selling a high number of cases of it……not a bad bottle of wine for $6……

      Reply
  7. jwc

    First, I do have to admit this wine label fooled me, I initially thought this was an $18-$20 retail wine, based upon the look of the label alone. To my eye its well done, not a Feeding Frenzy or Flirt etc silly label. I thought the varietals used were of interest. On jumping online, finding out the history/acquisition, plus the fact my kid sister celebrated her birthday at one of there events in September with Los Lobos playing (at Castoro Cellars that is), made the wines even more intriguing to me. All that being said, I found the wine to be decent/good. I ran it through an airator, and let breath for awhile. For me, an acceptable, everyday kind of red blend. For a $10 retail price, can’t expect a lot, I’d like the GO price to be $3.99, not $5.99. It seems to fall into the same camp, quality wise as some of the South American wines that have been reviewed here positively at the $4 price point. I know that sounds kind of odd, ideally it makes sense to long time GO buyers. I think there’s plenty of good red blend options coming down the pike that represent a better value. The Crossfire is certainly worth a try, I kept waiting for some complexity to develope as BW mentioned, also, but it never happened. Still a nice, simple red blend, don’t think I’ll pick anymore of the Crossfire up, however the Riatta Sangiovese & Zinfandel blend (80/20) and the ’08 Ben Hogan Tribute Cab Sav/Merlot blend at $6.99 here look interesting. I’m thinking the Ben Hogan maybe more up my alley, a Cab/Merlot blend with some age on it. Anyone tried that? The Crossfire for me falls somewhere in the Drinkable to Thumbs Up camp. Scoring it with the 100 point system for reference I’d call it 83-84 Pts.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Wow, I am a bit chagrined by maybe finding too much in this wine! Thanks for the feedback, though.

      Reply
      1. jwc

        I liked your notes, detailed BW. 84 Pts is a good score, B. I’ve had a number of red blends from that area, mostly Rhone warrior stuff, Tobin James & Tablas Creek come to mind. Many have a unique richness/complexity that is wonderful. Similiar in some ways to Walla Walla, but with the Rhone influence. This didn’t have it, but then doing a bit of research on the wine/brand, it makes sense. For the original price point intended, this wine was not meant to be complex, a simple, everyday red that’s tasty. I just think it should be priced a couple bucks lower by GO. Thanks for the review.

        Reply
  8. Seedboy

    There is another JanKriss wine at the Oakland GO. It seemed green and flabby to me, not enough acid. The one you reviewed, the blend seemed even more weird. I’ll be staying away from these wines.

    Reply
  9. Expat

    JanKris is about 30 miles from me and I’ve tasted their wine a few times, starting 9 years ago before they were bought out. Honestly I was always underwhelmed. I thought it was fruity, simple and a far cry from so many great wines in the Paso Robles area. I’m very interested in trying this, though. It sounds better than the 15% juices of theirs I’ve had before.

    Reply
    1. EHL

      Hey folks…..I picked up a couple of bottles of the Jankris Red a while back and had one earlier.

      My impression was similar to Expat’s…..not particularly overwhelmed, mainly because while the wine was smooth and tasty, it was a just little too sweet for me……bordering on a jammy fruitbomb IMHO.

      However, I think a lot of people will like this wine, as it is easy to drink from popping the cork and has a decent nose……but it did not gain complexity nor improve appreciably over the three days I drank it.

      I finally ended up mixing some Argentine Tannat into it and that helped it gain some body and cut the sweetness….

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Interesting. I would agree this was not the most complex wine after it had fully aired, but I would not have characterized it as “easy drinking” exactly, with that acid finish. Did you note the same strong acid component?

        Reply
        1. EHL

          I didn’t note a “strong acid” component, BW, as it seemed to drink fine upon opening and none of the other people tasting it appeared displeased……except for one gentleman buying a case of the Hill Mt. Veeder PN, who wrinkled his nose, spat out the wine and commented negatively about sweetness…..

          However, I have noted in the past that where you have discerned excessive acidity in a wine, I have perceived it as lively or refreshingly dry……so perhaps in the calculation of whether the wine is balanced or not, inevitably the slide rule of subjectivity comes into play……

          it didn’t appear to be unbalanced to my palate.

          Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s