Vinted & Bottled by Handcraft Artisan Collection, Manteca, CA; 13.5% ABV
$4.99 at the San Diego-Downtown, CA, store on 4 November
Yet another wine that supports my assertion that Wine.com will give 87 points to practically any wine that has a cork in it. This wine’s nose and flavor absolutely scream Central California. It lacks tannin and acid to balance the super ripe, jammy fruit. The wine tastes slightly better than cheap Central California swill.
So, given its provenance and a high end looking label design, do we end up with some great bargain or find here? No – it’s pretty uninspiring stuff. It has a medium body and a touch of tannin and acid (mostly just alcohol coming through providing the balance – did I just say that?), drinks like cheap Zin and is heavy on the vanilla with a touch of barrel spice thrown in. It’s a nice looking, dark wine and rims with some beautiful darker hues you would expect from Petite Sirah. Of course, it’s Delicato, so I’d assume there’s a nice dose of Mega Purple here, and it really doesn’t do anything to elevate my opinion of Reds I’ve tried from them. For reference to mass-produced labels, they produce Brazin, Gnarly Head, La Merika and many other recognizable (and some not so recognizable) brands. The entire branding exercise they went through for this label to me is pretty pointless, as Delicato is pretty widely known as a low-end producer. I won’t even bother to paste some of the marketing fluff they put out in their PR release when they started the label in 2012, but it’s searchable if you want a good laugh. This wine, at least, embodies exactly none of the [false] claims made nor is it “…rich and complex…” as stated on the back of the label.
I’ll go Neutral on this because some will like it, it is not overtly bad, and it’s certainly not over the hill like the Anka. Might be paired well with charred meat with a spicy rub on it, cajun pasta or just weeknight pasta wine. If you want a soft, sweet wine that’s fuller bodied and probably a crowd pleaser, this wouldn’t be a bad choice.