Variety: Grenache; Syrah; Bordeaux varietals
Region: Rhone, Roussillon, and Bordeaux, France
Cost: $20 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: A dominant nose of raspberry, rhubarb, and wild strawberry are complemented by savory aromas of humid tobacco, lavender, and rose petal. An immediate entry of cranberry and other red fruit leads to a touch of savoriness. The wine is fresh and lively with great acidity and approachable tannins.
My Review: I’ve already harped on the size and weight of the bottles that Locations Wine uses, so I won’t spend more than this sentence saying they keep doing it and I wish they’d stop. Ok…onto the wine, since that’s what’s ultimately of real importance.
In the glass the F5 was a garnet-y brick color of red, and on the nose I initially picked up alcohol; the wine runs a little hot at 15% alc/volume, but it also opened up quickly, the “hotness” fading. Once that was gone I picked up strawberry and rose petals on the nose, while in the mouth the wine showed cranberry and a hint of anise on the finish. After some more time to open notes of rhubarb started to come through, but it was subtle and to be fair, rhubarb is one of those flavors (and foods) that I don’t spend much time with, so it was initially lost on me and overall didn’t do much to endear the wine to me.
My wife and I paired the wine with pork chops and green beans and I have to say that the wine was better with food than without – the anise stuck with me and while plenty of people like it, I’m not one of them.
At first blush, I prefer the WA5 that I talked about last week better – I thought it was better balanced, and with the same alcohol content it never once came across as hot, something I appreciated. The F5 isn’t “bad”, it just wasn’t my favorite; the flavors may appeal to some people, but the anise I kept getting was a struggle for me.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.