Variety: Syrah; Merlot; Petit Sirah
Cost: $20 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: Deep purple in color, the wine brims with aromas of wild blueberries, cassis, and pleasing notes of forest floor. The palate is initially treated to dense flavors of plum, milk chocolate, and framboise. Following, a delightful interplay of violet, anise, black tea, and brown spices soon emerge giving further character to the wine. Silky tannins encapsulate things with a very pure and true finish.
My Review: I’ve been a fan of Dave Phinney and his Location line of wines (even if there was that one time I made him cry by accident). In fact, my only consistent complaint about his wines has been his consistent use of heavier bottles with thicker glass. While I know there is some tradition behind the bottles, with the deep punt and more Burgundy shape, it’s also heavy and probably a bit more expensive to ship. I know…I’m nitpicking.
But enough about the bottle, let’s talk about what’s in it.
In the glass, the wine showed dark purple colors, while on the nose I picked up blueberry. In the mouth, the wine was medium bodied, with flavors of plum, violet, and black tea at first blush, but with a hint of mocha coming through as the wine opened up. The silky tannins on the finish don’t linger, giving it a clean end that was enjoyable.
One of the more surprising things about this wine was the alcohol content. 15% alcohol by volume. I say that it’s surprising because the wine is definitely not hot. Even without allowing it to open, it was smooth and flavorful, without the usual “alcohol” aroma of a wine with this content.
My wife and I paired the wine with some homemade Naan pizzas – Margherita and Fig & Pig (prosciutto and fig preserves). The wine, particularly the smooth finish, was a great pairing to both. It was particularly nice with the Fig & Pig, the plum and black tea notes offering a nice balance to the saltiness of the pizza.
These wines should be available nationwide, so check your local wine shop. I continue to enjoy them, and for the price ($20!) they’re a great value.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.