5 G.O. Wines and a Taste Test Evening

We had a wine tasting evening with friends the other night. First time we’ve done G.O. wines in a while. I thought I’d post the general tasting notes, rather than write 5 separate reviews. I’m consolidating everyone’s thoughts into one review.

The five wines we tested:


  • Heliotrope Pinot Noir 2010 CA Heliotrope Winery, Napa $5.99 2-20-2015

Vinted & Bottled by Heliotrop Winery, Napa (Bronco wine)
13.5% ABV
Purchased: Corvallis OR GO

Color – pale, red-purple
Fragrance – (yeasty smell upon first opening that dissipated) light floral, sour rhubarb, raspberry, cherry
Taste – light body, fruit forward (very straight-forward, non-dimensional), cherry cough syrup, strawberry, hint of spice, chemical, medicinal
General opinion – (Wong gives this a 90 point score. Not one of us would have believed that.) Too fruity. Thumbs down-drinkable.

  • Cantavida Pinot Noir 2013 Leyda Valley $4.99

Produced by A.F. Arco Iris S.A. Requinua, Chile (AW Direct)
13.0% ABV
Purchased: Albany, OR GO

Color – Bright Red
Fragrance – “awful stewed fruit”, prunes, pepper, smoke
Taste – mineral, astringent, pepper, salmon berry, “tastes oxidized”
General opinion – drinkable, “better than the last one, barely”, “not a fan”

  • Kalbarri South Eastern Australia Shiraz 2013 $4.99 2-26-2015

12.9% ABV
Purchased: Lebanon OR GO

Color – Burgundy
Fragrance – grass, spice, cherry
Taste – “extremely unusual”, black pepper, plum, blackberries, “like watermelon or cherry Jolly Rancher Candy”, black olives, “grassy aftertaste”
General opinion – Thumbs down (unanimous)

  • James Bryant Hill Central Coast Merlot 2012 $5.99 2-26-2015

James Bryant Hill
13.5% ABV
Purchased: Lebanon OR GO

Color – dark burgundy
Fragrance – “I have a hard time finding any distinguishable fragrance in this one”, meat, “rotisserie chicken”, “not a fan”
Taste – silky, glycerin-like, plum, black pepper, spicy heat, “reminds me of a WA Merlot”
General opinion – “the heavy glycerin aftertaste gets to me”, drinkable, 1 person gave it a thumbs up

  • Alfredo Roca Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 $4.99 2-26-2015

13.9% ABV
Purchased: Lebanon OR GO

Color – dark plum, can’t see through it
Fragrance – fruit, earth, licorice, plum, green pepper
Taste – plum, green pepper, tobacco, “tastes dry”, “reminds me of Malbec”
General opinion – drinkable+


2 thoughts on “5 G.O. Wines and a Taste Test Evening

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