Exitus 2011 Red Wine $4.99

Cecchetti Wine Company
ABV (listed on the bottle as 13.5% but the website says 14.1%)
Purchased: Albany, OR 11-12-2014


Syrah from Monterey – 60%
Merlot from Monterey – 31%
Cabernet Sauvignon from California – 9%

Wine Facts

Vintage: 2011
Appellation: California
Alcohol: 14.1%
TA: .62
Ph: 3.60
Winemaker: Bob Broman
Cases Produced: 2,671
Suggested Retail: $25.99

I was pretty excited to find this wine on the Albany shelf. It’s 2011 CA (I’m still a fan), two of the components are from Monterey (I usually find interesting tastes from that coastal region) and I have not tried anything from that area in that vintage. Being a cooler, foggier area in most respects, and given the fact that 2011 was a difficult vintage in general, with wines either turning out amazing or tanking (there doesn’t seem to be an in-between), this bottle was very much a wild-card to my way of thinking.

On one hand, the bottle is heavy, the label is parchment-like…and visually it’s meant for the consumer to believe it’s a slightly higher tier wine than its price point indicates. On the other hand, I just read an article on labeling and psychology…how manufacturers will do exactly what we see on this bottle to up-sell a lower quality (but mass-produced) wine.

So where does this fall? (I admit it, I fully expected the latter category but was happily surprised to find this not to be the case.)

Color: Magenta, ruby-red.
Nose: As soon as I opened the bottle, there was a very strong aspirin smell, however, it dissipated as quickly as it appeared. Swirl a few times and you get the fragrance of plums, black cherry, raspberry.
Body: Much lighter than I expected for a 1/3 Merlot blend (think slightly heavier Pinot Noir body style)…very medium-light.
Taste: Fruit forward. Raspberry, boysenberry. Alcohol is so non-intrusive and yet balances out the fruit; hints of vanilla bean find their way to the surface upon opening. At first, there’s not so much in the way of pepper, spice or savory that I expected in a Syrah blend, but it is a tasty (for fruit forward) wine. As it opened up (about 20 min or so in the glass) black cherry and pomegranate moved more to the fore; pepper/spice notes also starting to develop as well. About an hour or so in the class brought forth a bit of savory (bacon). I think it is possible that the wine would progress even further on day 2…it does seem to have potential to evolve.

While it is fruit forward (and I wouldn’t call it dry), it doesn’t have that cloyingly sweet, high sugar taste that sets me on edge. It’s not “in your face” fruit either. I think part of that is the lighter style body, it lends itself to the blend without making the taste obtrusive. True it’s not as layered as I’d like, however, even at the non-sale price of $4.99 this is a decent buy IMO. I think it would pair well with food (pork, mushrooms, cheeses etc) but stands up nicely on its own. This was apparently available in some Oregon stores during the sale, and TBH, one of the better wines I’ve tasted from the sale event; as long as you keep in mind that it is fruit forward (yet not at all a sugary, sweet fruit bomb).

As far as I am aware, it is still available at the Albany store at the $4.99 price.

Update: Day two…it really has opened up.  Mouthfeel is a lot more full.  Still fruit forward but more balanced (though I prefer it with food on day two instead of on it’s own).  Glad I have another bottle.

11 thoughts on “Exitus 2011 Red Wine $4.99

  1. lim13

    Opened a bottle of this tonight. My notes: Clear medium garnet; took at least a couple of hours for the nose to show anything…then shows very subtle cherry, raisin and earth; in the mouth, what strikes me first is moderately tart acidity with little tannin…then red fruits like raspberry, red plum and rhubarb. This is a pretty simple wine that’s drinkable enough, but nothing out of the ordinary; what tannins are there show best in the finish. O.K. with our chicken, bacon and artichoke pizza with garlic white sauce. BTW, I got no bell pepper…and tasting it before I read PW’s notes above, I’d have never guessed it was mostly Syrah. Thought it tasted more Grenache-like.

  2. jwc

    Popped the cork on this tonight and enjoyed with a bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. This is a nice red blend, and a steal at $5. I like this more than the Lunatic Red that is available now, fruit seems more integrated and balanced. Kind of wish I would have bought a few more, nice effort. Thumbs Up.

    1. permiesworld Post author

      Hi JWC,
      I really enjoyed our first bottle of this. We picked up two more based on the first one and I’m guessing they were from a different lot (or barrel etc…they were definitely from a different store). Anyway, those two tasted quite different from the first one. Did yours have any bell pepper tastes? Those 2nd two bottles seemed to be a little less “fine” and both showed the bell pepper.

      1. jwc

        No bell pepper on this bottle, I did run through a Vinturi which can assist dissipate that note if present. None detected, I detest overt green pepper too.

  3. positivepauly

    Picked up a bottle in Oly WA after reading this review, and I am rather enjoying it. Definitely fruit-forward but in a very satisfying way. Raspberry is very clear, and it evolves into cherry. I can also verify the smoky bacon lingering later in the glass as it opens.

    Definitely a “wow” wine for me, especially at this price point. Very much up my alley in style, especially with dark chocolate.

    1. permiesworld Post author

      Hello positivepauly. Thanks for weighing in on this one. I’m glad you are enjoying it. I still have one other bottle of the Exitus. I really liked my first one but the second time we had it, the wine was quite different. Yours sounds like the first so that’s good to know…


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