in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day sixty (Apothic Red 2008)

Apothic Red 2008Tonight’s wine is Apothic Red 2008. It’s a blend of “Flavorful Syrah, Rich Zinfandel, and Smooth Merlot,” so says the back label. More specifically, “it is a blend of 45% Syrah, 44% Zinfandel, 9% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.” That’s what Robert Parker said in his review. More specifically he said:

I am breaking my own rules about only reviewing Napa wines in this report simply because this is one of the greatest bargains I have ever tasted from California. Made by the Gallo family, it is a blend of 45% Syrah, 44% Zinfandel, 9% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon that comes from primarily Lodi as well as Sonoma, the Central Coast, and Napa. Discounters will undoubtedly have it for even less than $10. A hedonist’s dream, this fruit-bomb exhibits loads of berry fruit, pepper, and spice, silky tannins, and an attractive mouthfeel. Neither heavy nor overly alcoholic, there are 15,000 cases of this beauty, which will provide enormous relief for weary, recession-challenged wine consumers. It should drink well for 1-2 years. Bravo to Gallo!

Damn. That’s a fine review. It makes you want to go out and buy a case.

Now, it’s not that I don’t trust Robert Parker, but I want to share my sensations. Oh, I do hope this is the juiciest wine. After sixty days, it’d be well worth it. So here it goes.


Black Forest CakeWell, the nose definitely a fruit bomb. I’m drooling. I can smell the Merlot and some vanilla. It kinda smells like a Black Forest Cake.

Already I’m thinking they made this wine just for me.

Alright, what else is in there?

I think there might be black berries, too. I can’t get anything else, though there is definitely more in there.

Let’s taste, shall we?

Wait, I just looked at this. The meniscus is almost non-existent. That’s so rare to find. It’s so, so thin and of one color. Usually there are two or three layers to the meniscus, and the top layer is always clear. The clear layer on this one is hair thin, and the pink-purple layer below it is three hairs thin. Well, maybe six. It’s thin, man. Thin. Usually that only occurs with older wines.

Matured WineHas this wine matured? Oh my. I’m giddy.

Let’s taste, shall we?

It’s peppery up front and of sweet and sour cherries on the finish. It’s a sweet wine. Not like Finger Lakes sweet or Red Cat sweet. Just sweet for this type of blend. It must be coming from the Merlot.

Actually this is kinda thin for a blend with so much Zinfandel, Syrah, and Cab.

I’ll agree with Robert. It’s good for $10. Though the sweet finish is getting bothersome. It would go good with a curry or many Indian and Thai foods. This would go good with shrimp in garlic sauce from a Chinese restaurant.

Alone, the sweetness is getting to me. It’s not too bad. I’d say 87 points.

If you like a sweeter wine, you’ll like this. If you tend to the dry, you probably won’t like this.

Now that I think about it. This is like a desert wine, but thiner. Serve it with ice cream on the porch in the summer or with waffles and syrup in bed some Saturday morning in December during a snow storm. Then go outside with some hot chocolate and catch snow flakes with your eyelashes.//

5 Responses to “in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day sixty (Apothic Red 2008)”

  1. 1 brendan
    January 19, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Thank you… I couldn’t agree more. I was quite excited to read Parker’s review and thought for sure this would be a great bargain… I would buy a case and drink it on cold Saint Louis evenings, but I couldn’t get past that cloying sweetness. Nice mouth feel and silky tannins and all that blah blah blah… all I could say after drinking 1/3 of the bottle was “what the f is he smoking.” Oh well, on to another wine adventure.

  2. 2 Benson
    October 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I agree with Parker on this one. Not a great wine, but for $10, it beats the heck out of many $15 -$25 bottles of wine out there. Hard to find this type of complexity in a $10 bottle. That brings it way ahead of the pack, so to speak. I also agree with the other poster who said they could have “backed off the sweetness.” The sweetness is not coming from the merlot, it’s coming form the zinf. Normally I would not touch a zinf with a ten foot pole, but somehow, it more or less works in this mix. They should have added more cab and less zinf to round it out in the sweetness vs dryness department. I would not drink this wine all the time, but I will try it again for the right food pairings on occasion. I think the point is that it’s a lot of wine for the buck. I’d put it in the “as good as a Rodney Strong or a Clos Du Bois” category and they go for about $15-$17 per bottle.

  3. May 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this site needs far more attention.

    I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the advice!

  4. June 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    This came too late for me to be spared this travesty of a product from Gallo. Wine is a matter of taste. For those who hadn’t noticed the sweetness is coming from the huge amount of residual sugar to which Gallo make no reference. I no longer trust Gallo and I’m forming the opinion that they have Parker in their pocket through some unidentified angle. A dishonest and offensive offering.

  5. June 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    You might be right, Geoff. :^)>

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