Posts Tagged ‘Robert Parker


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.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day twenty-four

This will be a quick. I’ve been busy all day. I just got back from a picnic with some good people, and soon I’ll be going to the CnS, the local bar, to hang out with some other good people. Hm. I had a beer at the picnic, now I’m having wine, soon I’ll be drinking beer, again, and inevitably, as always happens at the CnS, I’ll be doing shots. Yes, today I’ll be drinking for the cycle!

Vinos Sin-Ley M5 Monastrell 2006To get the cycle going, I’ll be drinking Vinos Sin-Ley M5 Monastrell 2006. “Vinos Sin Ley” translates into  “wine without laws. So it’s a rebel. Looking at that lime green label, how can I think otherwise.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a Monastrell, but it’s from Spain, so that’s a good thing. And the Wine Advocate gave it 90 points, so that should be a good thing, too.

Deep Purple "Smoke on the Water"The back label says it’s deep purple, but I don’t see any smoke on the wine. (Sorry. Sigh.)

Anyway, it’s got a huge nose. I can help but to smell it, and it’s about 1.5 feet away. From this distance I smell a wild-flower perfume, berries, camp fire smoke, and something sweet, like popsicles? Closer up there is leather, and my girlfriend gets “gasoline but in a good way.” But that gasoline could be all the alcohol in it, which is perhaps why it seems like a perfume and drifts so far. It definitely smells pleasant and I can’t wait to get it in me.

Well, it’s got an interesting texture. It’s very thick. And it has horrible a finish like a bad rhubarb pie with gasoline and grape leaves. It’s like a very bitter dolmades. The finish tastes like America’s loss today. I should know better. I don’t like Robert Parker’s tastes. I rarely agree with him. He like the darkest, earthy wines.

This wine is good on the nose in the mouth, but it disappoints on the finish. Maybe this is what it should taste like?

George ClintonI just did some research. Monastrell is Spanish for Mouvedre, which I said before taste like it comes from Funky Town.

But this, this finish is just funk, and not like James Brown or George Clint, but sad and yucky.

It just doesn’t suit my palate.//

The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

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July 2020


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