Lowe Merlot 2006

An organic wine from Mudgee, this comes complete with a few years’ bottle age and a cork seal (!). It forms the latest chapter in my search for great Australian Merlot, a search that has provided flashes of aesthetic satisfaction in amongst large swathes of disappointing mediocrity. This wine is promising in terms of the manner of its creation: fruit from a single block, hand picked and passed through a largely “non-interventionist” (don’t get me started) winemaking regime. So far so good.

There was an odd sediment in the neck of the bottle that I had to dislodge before pouring. I was momentarily fearful of spoilage, but the bottle is sound. Aromas of clean red fruit, not plums so much as raspberries and brandied cherries, with a distinctive edge of undergrowth mixed with damp earth This isn’t the red earthiness of Hunter wines, but rather something more decaying, autumnal. There’s a twiggy sharpness at the back of the nose, perhaps related to oak. Good depth of aroma profile.

The palate possesses a thick, textured mouthfeel that, oddly, feels related to the earthy aromas on the nose. Immediate flavour and texture on entry, with quite bright acidity ushering complex red and black fruit flavours onto the middle palate, where they are joined by black olives and brown earth. The wine is full and rich-feeling, not plush so much as charismatic. I wish for slightly greater definition to the flavours; I enjoy Merlot that embodies the paradox of soft fruit flavours, cleanly articulated. But there’s no lack of flavour, and this continues well through the after palate, where oak and brandied fruit take over. The tannins are full and velvety, very much present even at this stage of the wine’s life. A dry, raspy finish that shoots up into higher toned fruit flavours and which persists well.

There’s a lot to like here, though the overall impression is of rough-hewn wood rather than polished sculpture. Potential plus, and a label to watch.

Lowe Wines
Price: $A30
Closure: Cork
Source: Sample

Punk Bubbles Rosé 2005

Look, I’ll be honest here: it was a categorical imperative that I buy and drink this wine. Take a look:

(Credit goes to beth elliott design for these labels. Beth is awesome.)

How could I not? Any discussion of the wine is probably going to be secondary to a discussion of the semiotics of the packaging (and price point). This wine was released for about US $35 by The Grateful Palate, a now-apparently-bankrupt American wine importer that originally made its mark working with Sarah and Sparky Marquis to import super-huge, über-alcoholic wines made by Chris Ringland (and others) and marketed as Marquis-Philips (Dan Philips is the man behind The Grateful Palate). After an apparently-acrimonious breakup, Dan went on to a whole series of occasionally brilliant, always interestingly packaged wines (Boarding Pass was always a favorite of mine) that promised good value, hugely entertaining and highly original graphic design, and at the very least enough alcohol to keep the party going. Some of the wines were duds (Darby and Joan cabernet, Bitch Bubbly); others were as good as anyone could possibly have hoped for (Bitch, First Class, Green Lion).

At some point last year, they came out with Punk Bubbles in both rosé and ordinary variants. These wines were not cheap, being (presumably) traditional method sparkling wines priced at about the same as well-known Champagne such as Piper-Heidsieck and Veuve Clicquot ($30-$40 US). However, what set them apart were the labels: awesome, beautifully ugly cutups of classic punk rock tropes complete with scrawled text that said stuff like FILTH and STENCH. My first thought was damn: how perfect. Expensive Australian sparkling wine with confrontationally ugly labels released just in time for old school punk rockers’ 50th birthday parties.

Then, sadly, apparently no one bought the stuff, even if they even had special variant labels only available at momofuku restaurants in New York City. Oh well, can’t win ’em all, I guess. I bought three bottles of the rosé on closeout for $25 – still well north of high quality California sparkling wine (figure $13 for Chandon or $18 for Roederer in these parts), but with a label that says FOR HUMANS on the side of it, which makes me giddy in a way I probably should be ashamed of.

But: how’s the wine? The mousse is absolutely spot on perfect:a lovely, fine froth around the rim of the glass. The bead is spot on as well, a thin, elegant column of fine bubbles vigorously rockieting upwards from the bottom of the glass. The color is wonderfully vulgar, reminiscent more of a Champagne with still Pinot noir added before secondary fermentation than a blanc de noirs. It does tend towards onionskin, but on the whole it really is tween-pink more than respectably pale, anemic salmon.

The nose is surprisingly bready, with autolysed yeast characteristics, reminiscent of fresh toast. It’s quickly augmented by wild strawberries, pink peppercorns, and a sort of violet-raspberry note. It’s all rather enchanting and much more grown up than the color suggests. Refreshingly acidic, the wine is alas just the tiniest bit of a letdown on the palate, with relatively simple, somewhat wan flavors of strawberry lip gloss and not a whole lot else. The finish is fairly short, with a mild pepperiness tinged with violets and strawberries.

Is this wine worth $35? Frankly no. But is it worth $25? Well… yeah, probably. It’s not the best pink sparkling wine I’ve had, but it’s good enough – and the slight price premium is worth it to me to enjoy the label. Shallow? Or merely cognizant of the fact that not everything that makes a wine enjoyable is in the bottle itself? You decide.

The Grateful Palate
Price: $25
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

Tinja Preservative Free Merlot 2010

It strikes me as difficult to write about this wine without making its preservative free, organic status central to the discussion, purely because such wines are relatively uncommon. This wine understands the value of rarity; its back label acknowledges it has been made to meet an “overwhelming demand” for such styles. I don’t know enough about the market to know if this is accurate or anticipatory. In any case, it appears this isn’t a one-trick pony. For starters, the fruit originates from low-yielding, unirrigated vines and was handpicked; hardly the most cost-effective way of supplying a niche market that (and perhaps I’m being unkind) may not be driven primarily by a passion for beautiful wine.

So I approach it assuming an integrity of intent, and am pleased to note it is, at the very least, soundly made. It’s also extremely young; there’s even some spritz in the glass that seems to have wandered in from a bottle of Hunter Semillon. Given its age and style, the flavour profile is inevitably bright and redolent of fermentation esters as much as fruit notes. I’m a little torn; on the one hand, my instinct is to suggest leaving it for a few months to settle, but I’ve no experience with this type of wine so wouldn’t have a clue how it will evolve.

The palate is light and quite savoury, with crunchy (perhaps overly assertive) acid cutting through moderately intense fruit flavours that tend towards the red fruit spectrum. What tannins there are come across as chalky, loose and pleasantly textural. There’s basically no complexity, and nor would one expect there to be. What’s important here is a flavour profile that avoids obvious, sweet fruit, and which I suspect is very food friendly.

I’m not sure this wine has a place in my life, but it’s nice to know there’s a worthwhile example available to those who value the style.

Lowe Wines
Price: $A20
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

Windowrie Family Reserve Sparkling 2010

Curiously, the label makes no mention of the grape variety from which this wine is made. A quick search shows the answer to be Chardonnay, which means this is a blanc de blancs. So much more enticing, no?

In the end, I wanted to like this wine more than I did. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it; in fact, it went quite well with a mid-week fish and chip fest. The disappointment for me here lies in this wine’s coarseness of texture, something that will hold any sparkling wine back, so dependent is the style on a certain finesse of spritz and delicacy of palate. No, this is full-throttle, more soft-drink than Champagne in terms of its mousse and bead.

On the plus side, there’s real flavour locked in this wine, the fruit clearly possessing a degree of power, if not subtlety. Almost tropical in character, this flavour profile is about as far away from Champagne as one might get, but I don’t believe that automatically devalues the style. What I miss from the model, though, is the savoury complexity that transforms the best sparkling wines from frivolous fun to something worth considering as more than a simple accompaniment to miniature deep fried food. There are hints of brioche and mushroom, but they don’t stand a chance against all that buxom fruit flavour and what appears to be a reasonably generous dosage. The after palate and finish are rich and clingy, not quite showing the freshness one might look for.

There are better value wines at this price point (the standard Brown Brothers springs to mind), but I am glad Windowrie is trying something new and upscale with this wine. The packaging is quite beautiful and, although it’s not pressing my Champagne-loving buttons, this is undeniably flavoursome and fun. I hope it finds an audience.

Price: $A25
Closure: Cork
Source: Sample

Karra Yerta Riesling 2010

This is a wine I look forward to each year.

Youthful spritz in the glass and swirling, estery fragrances on the nose. This is many things at once: the Karra Yerta vineyard with the vivid, neon-pastel tones characteristic of this site, an Eden wine full of bath salts and minerals, and a product of its vintage, showing a richness I’ve not seen from this label before. Realistically, this needs a few more months to blow off some residual sulfur and show its pristine self, but already there’s much complexity and detail, which is impressive in any wine, let alone a wine made so simply and available at such a reasonable price. No wonder Australian Riesling is so revered.

The palate is powerful and full, again showing a relatively rich, fleshy fruit flavour profile. In addition to the expected lime rind and lemon juice, there’s a hint of papaya alongside crystalline minerals and rather breathtaking acid. Good intensity. The texture here is wonderful; chalky, dry, etched. It’s a refreshing foil to the fruit flavours and ensures this wine leaves the palate clean and refreshed and, most importantly, eager for another sip.

Another cracker from this vineyard.

Karra Yerta Wines
Price: $A25
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

Ridge Pagani Ranch 2003

It’s a cold, rainy night here in San Diego, so I went for the most alcoholic wine I could find; there are two reasons for this. One, I’m cold and could use some alcoholic heat, and two, after kvetching about the high alcohol content of Mollydooker wines last week, I figured it was time to try another high octane wine from a different winery and see if I can find any reason at all for my dislike of the high alcohol Mollydooker house style. So: here I am.

This wine’s older; the back label suggests holding it until 2010-2011 to allow it to ‘soften,’ and I’ve done that more or less as proscribed. The color doesn’t seem to have faded much, if at all: it’s still that rich, dark, opaque black color I associate with Zinfandel. Just like the Mollydookers, it also has a noticeably clear rim and jambes d’enfer, making its 15.4% alcohol level perfectly clear. Things couldn’t be more clearly different than the Mollydooker wines, though, on the nose.

This doesn’t smell like other wines, not even like other Ridge zinfandels. This takes the whole jammy, Christmas pudding, spice box, Turkish delight aesthetic to overdriven levels. There’s not much by the way of obvious wood; instead, what you get here is extremely ripe fruit. What’s odd, though, is that the alcohol seems to be relatively adroit at keeping itself out of the way enough to smell the wine; you don’t get a snootful of alcoholic vapors, just a twinge. Even so, the second you drink some, bang, there it is: unavoidable alcohol that’s a little bit harsh, obstructing the otherwise clean line here. For all of the delicious, dried fruit, dates and treacle going on here, there’s still a clearly porty aspect you just can’t avoid.

So what’s the deal here? Why does this bother me less than similarly alcoholic syrah and cabernet from Mollydooker? I think it’s simple: zinfandel is more or less an inherently ridiculous grape. It tastes best at higher alcohol levels; it doesn’t really gain a thing when it’s harvested at 13% potential alcohol because the grape just isn’t ripe at those sugar levels. Instead, you have to get it up in the 14s before you can make a palatable wine from it at all. However, cabernet and syrah both do just fine in the 12-14 percent range, and I just don’t see what they gain at higher alcohol levels; I think they begin to lose quite a bit in interest and complexity once you get anywhere past, oh, about 14.5%. When you hit 15, 16, and (God forbid), 16.5% alcohol, a lot of the interesting bits seem to have gone, and the good bits that are left don’t seem to particularly complement the alcohol (in the sense that the overall effect is of a less complex port), unlike zinfandel, whose innate characteristics (think spicy date pudding) do in fact sit will at relatively insane levels of alcohol.

Digression over. Back to this wine: it’s drinking rather beautifully right now and is a fine example of a high alcohol (if not quite late harvest) zinfandel (or, technically, a field blend – there’s alicante bouschet and durif/petite sirah here as well). Age has brought a genteel faded character to the hyperripe fruitfest and given it an earthy, almost cedary edge that’s lovely. If there’s any Old World wine to which I’d compare it, it would be to a 40 year old port; it has definite similarities in terms of complexity, and a lot of the bottom end has fallen out, leaving a melody almost entirely in the treble clef, a wonderful harmony of rich, fruity, aged notes with a nearly sherry-like hint of maderization. Pretty damn good wine, if I say so myself.

Ridge Vineyards
Price: $30
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

Second Nature Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2009

I hope you have all been enjoying Chris’s recent pieces as much as I have. They have resoundingly made up for the fact that wine has been an infrequent visitor to my household of late, owing to a confluence of circumstances including a pile of study and a lot of travel for work. Tonight, though, I’m home and selected this bottle from the sample pile. Considering it’s a straightforward commercial style, I’ve begun to look forward to this wine each vintage the way one anticipates a favourite local take-away on a Friday evening. You know it’s not going to be haute cuisine, but that doesn’t in any way detract from the generous enjoyment you know you’ll experience.

There’s a big hit of spicy plum and raspberry on the nose, both engorged and nicely detailed, that immediately sets the tone. It’s expressive and heady and not even close to the sort of industrial anonymity that can plague wines at this price point. Indeed, within the confines of the style this is full of character and the smell of vintage conditions, some caramel and slightly overripe fruit contributing personality to the clean, correct aroma profile.

Very well judged on the palate, this wine starts and ends with mouthfilling fruit. In between, there is a range of spice and twig notes and an undercurrent of nougat oak that is set to the right volume. Structure, such as it is, encourages gulps rather than sips. There’s some bright acid and relaxed tannins, sure, but the fruit is so dominant here that one never questions the intent behind the style. This wine is just all about the mid-palate; fleshy, fresh, delicious. It’s not a remarkable wine in any particular way, but it succeeds so well in what it sets out to do that one can’t but praise it wholeheartedly.

Dowie Doole
Price: $A19
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

Tabla Numero Uno 2008

Just for grins, click here to see where this wine was grown – it’s about as far off of the beaten path as you can get in North America. I had to zoom out at least half a dozen times (in Google Maps) before I had even the vaguest idea where in Mexico these grapes were grown: turns out it’s Zacatecas, a relatively obscure state south of Coahuila, which is where the first winery in the New World was constructed all the way back in 1597.

The vineyard is 2,057 meters above sea level, which would probably explain how it’s at possible, and why this is a moderate 12.2 pct. alcohol, which is very low for anywhere in North America. But let’s skip all of the geography and technical details and jump straight to the wine.

It’s a lovely, deep, rich, dark red wine; it isn’t lacking for color. It gets immediately interesting on the nose; at first, I thought I smelled sweet, dusty fruit; after a few minutes, it changed to a slightly sweeter, incredibly unusual nose with a tinge of mulberry and something approaching volatile acidity. More than anything, though, it smells of damp earth, coffee, soft red fruits, and fig paste.The taste of the wine is a surprise, but only briefly; with Malbec, I’m preconditioned to expect more alcohol, so the initial approach of the wine seemed disappointing: it’s not a monster, so you don’t get the thickness the alcohol lends. It does fill out rapidly after that, though, with a fairly rich, thick midpalate accented by sweet, dusty notes but again with that charming coffee-like, smoky note that I’m guessing is strictly from oak. The finish sings on for a good half a minute, alternately sweet and savory, and often with a wonderfully intriguing oakiness, but only just. On the down side, there’s a very slight, only occasionally noticeable component that seems faulty, but I can’t say exactly what it is (I’m thinking volatile acidity, but I’m just not sure). In short, it’s not factory wine.

If I had to compare this wine to anything, it would be to an imaginary Beaujolais that had been aged in lightly toasted oak barrels; I don’t think I’ve ever had anything like this. It almost reminds me of some of the lesser known southern French wines like Cotes du Marmandais, but what really stands out here is the impressive length of the wine, going on as it does.

Yes, this is about as obscure as it gets – I found this wine in a small shop in Mexicali, the capital of Baja California, yesterday (and wound up in secondary inspection at Customs because I didn’t realize that the state of California only allows residents to return with one liter of any kind of alcoholic beverages… oops) – but this is worth seeking out for anyone who’s interested in what you can do in new winegrowing areas with traditional grapes. Of all the Malbecs I’ve had, this isn’t as immediately delicious as, say, most midrange Argentine malbecs, but the Zacatecan expression of the grape is pretty damn interesting. Of course, this is probably too much money to pay for what you’re getting here – you could have a mind-blowing Argentine malbec for about the same amount – but you’ll never have tasted a wine like this before.

Viñedos Santa Elena
Price: $32
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

Mollydooker Enchanted Path Shiraz | Cabernet 2007

Yet another Mollydooker wine, yet another custom domain name. Before I begin this time, I’d like to quickly discuss the 2007 Carnival of Love Shiraz, which I finished drinking last night and which led me down a rabbit hole of snide one-liner reviews: Good, but not $85 good. Penfolds St. Henri, but with a shot of grain alcohol. Lovely Shiraz with well-judged oak, but at triple the cost of its competitors. In short, it was a good wine, not great: rich Shiraz fruit without any of the annoying complications of terroir, subliminal oak that helped rather than hindered, once again too much alcohol, and on the whole a perfectly enjoyable wine unless you earn less than six figures and/or prefer moderate alcohol levels, in which case, well, you’re SOL.

Now: on to this wine. Once again, my heartfelt thanks to the good folks at Mollydooker for sending press samples my way; I’m sure they were hoping (as was I) for happy drinking, and I’m pleased to say that I’m finally as near my happy place as I’m going to get. Once again, though, I’ll point out that the cost is well into ridiculous range (you can buy Clonakilla shiraz viognier or Ridge Monte Bello for less money than this), and the alcohol is stratospheric (although thankfully not as noticeable on this wine). And with that, I’m done whingeing. On to the good stuff.

Many, many years ago, shortly before I decided to enroll in the Central Washington University World Wine Program, I attended a tasting in Seattle that was led by the CWU professor responsible for founding their wine program. One of the gentlemen in that afternoon’s tasting – I suspect he was a doctor, lawyer, or someone else with an awful lot of money – expressed concern about a pinot noir’s color – surely something that pale couldn’t possibly taste good? Well, sir, if it’s rich, satisfying, tooth-staining color you like, I’m happy to report that this wine has an awful lot of it, period. Once again we’re dealing with a squid ink black, opaque, monster of a wine, but the color is slightly different than the other Mollydookers: not quite older, but it’s optically slightly less transparent at the rim and with a more usual color to it.

The nose is wonderfully complex; at first, I was reminded of an off-season seaside hotel on the coast of Spain: iodine notes, plus fading fruit, battered wood, fruity esters, the remaining spice from summer guests’ colognes, and all kinds of other interesting things. The one thing I’m reminded of the most is (strangely enough) Comme des Garçons Odeur 53, an avant-garde anti-perfume that is said to contain notes along the lines of ‘dust on a lightbulb’ and ‘pure air of the high mountains’ – in short, lots of highly improbably, artificial things that really shouldn’t be in a perfume. Similarly, not a lot of what I smell in this wine reminds me of traditional wine smells: no obvious Bordeaux toast, raspberry motor oil fruit, etc. Instead, you get a hundred variations on dislocation. There’s a lot here which tends towards the plastic, the cosmetic, the confected, the surreal, but it works just fine in context, strangely enough: at times, it does settle back down into nearly recognizable shiraz-cabernet territory with a whisper of spicy oak, but only briefly.

With alcohol levels this high, the wine does turn hot towards the middle of the palate, which is moderately unpleasant; however, the rich, unctuous, mouth-filling sensuality of the wine is undeniably powerful; even if you’re intellectually opposed to it on grounds of, say, perverting terroir, you’ll still enjoy it, honest. Tannins are forcefully present again, softening slightly, with a slight suggestion of (somehow) harder, unripe tannin that works nicely against the lushness of the fruit. Finally, there’s something almost marine about the very finish… or it could be umami, in which I’m making a very weak connection to seaweed here. It’s definitely porty, with a certain sweetness that goes on for quite a while after swallowing, which might just work with fatty dishes like foie gras.

Taking a tip from their marketing materials, I also tried some of this wine with a handful of Marconi almonds… and they’re dead on correct. Strangely enough, the combination manages to arrive at butter pecan ice cream: rich, creamy fruit with hard, salty nuttiness – absolutely delicious. The salt and fat help cut the alcohol and fruitiness of the wine; I imagine this would be absolutely fantastic with steak.

In short, pretty damn good wine. However, I’ll once again state that there’s too much alcohol, it doesn’t taste like any particular place, and (most importantly) I expect a fully transcendent experience for this kind of money… and it falls short of that. Still, I would gladly drink this … if it were half the price.As an aside: in terms of reviews, I see that this is a Wine Advocate 95 and a Wine Spectator 91. The Spectator is correct: this is a good wine. But the Advocate is just wrong: this is not otherworldly.

Price: $85
Closure: Cork
Source: Sample

Mollydooker Blue-Eyed Boy Shiraz 2007

One more thing I love about K&L Wine Merchants? They keep a complete order history available at their Web site, which means I can see that I bought a bottle of the 2006 vintage of this wine in their Hollywood store on August 18, 2007. That’s damn cool. I bought it to share with friends at Mozza in LA; that was a memorable birthday lunch, although of the two wines I brought (the other was a 2002 Penfolds Bin 707 cabernet), the Blue-Eyed Boy wasn’t the one that charmed the sommelier.

Anyhow! Here we are again, back in Mollydooker territory. Once again: thank you to the kind folks at Mollydooker who generously sent this wine as a press sample. I’ll begin by noting that the bottle in front of me was opened last Saturday night – which means it’s been open for three days now, although screwcapped and in the fridge for most of that time – and that yes, I did in fact do the ‘Mollydooker Shake’ (not sure if that’s trademarked); the winery suggests that their wines are better after vigorously shaking the bottle to remove traces of nitrogen gas from the wine.

I’ll begin with a quick recap of the tasting group’s notes from Saturday night:

Mark: I like the color. But I’d prefer it with a lot more acidity to it. It’s a style of wine that I recognize… and no, I don’t like it.

Rex: Best wine of the evening so far, but the alcohol level is slightly overpowering Also, the label appeals to <redacted>. I like the wine but I’m troubled by the label.

JP: Trying to figure this out … It feels… thicker? (… than The Boxer shiraz – CP)

Roy: If the others are weaker, I like this one more, it’s got more of a body to it

Henry: Pepper… some cardboard? Lots of tannin for sure. Bitter espresso, smoky chocolate notes?

Me: I like the nose a lot… I feel like all of this wine was destined to go to Dallas. I really feel like the oak is getting in the way of this wine. It’s like it had gross makeup smeared all over the front of it.

Ouch. So: how do I feel about it now? Once again, the color is strikingly dark; it reminds me of flat Hansen’s All Natural Cola, or old-time sarsparailla county fair style (you know, the kind they serve in a metal mug). Kind of pretty. Again, the rim is ‘watery’ (read: this is unconscionably high in alcohol) with a brief twinge of much lighter cherry-red color there, which isn’t particularly anything at all – just thought I’d note it.

Do I still like the nose here? Hard to say. Whatever it was that I smelled Saturday night is fairly well subdued this Tuesday night; what I smell reminds me somewhat of renting a room in a not-often-visited hotel in the mountains, one old enough to have an actual cedar lined closet… that hasn’t been aired out recently. There seems to be some kind of oak here, which imparts a dry, solemn mustiness, but the “explodes in your mouth” (the Marquis’ words, not mine) fruit seems to be strangely somnolent here. Instead, you get a strangely confected, Turkish delight and watermelon bubble gum effect that frankly smells cheap, like perfume sold to tweens. Once again, I find that the alcohol is really getting in the way here; if there were less, it wouldn’t overwhelm the flavors so much, I think. Of course, given the success of Mollydooker and their wines, it’s eminently possible that folks really like the porty, prune-y aspect of this wine.

In terms of mouthfeel, this is much more coherent to me than the ’09 Gigglepot cabernet was. It’s still huge, rich, unctuous, and sweet (not from sugar, but from alcohol, I’m guessing), but the acidity is less shrill, sneaking in to the back palate and offering some respite from the huge-osity here. Tannins are present but discreetly so; they assist the finish with firmly grounded earthiness and are okay, but still slightly hard.

Ultimately, I once again have to say that I don’t really care for this wine. So what’s the problem? Without sounding completely ridiculous, my main problem is that the wine seems to be completely man-made without any kind of historical or terroir-based justification for its existence. More than anything, it exudes a fakeness that I have a really, really hard time dealing with. I’ve had monster Barossa shiraz from the likes of Chris Ringland (cf. First Class shiraz), and there was still a typicity and integrity there that seemed to have come from old vines and judicious use of oak). I’m an unabashed fan of California late harvest zinfandel, which is probably even more alcoholic than this, but again: that style of wine is historically grounded and you don’t have to do too much for it to happen in California (our weather occasionally makes it happen). But Syrah from the McLaren Vale arriving at this particular end point – massive, alcoholic, and fruity in a simple way – just strikes me as, well, wrong. It doesn’t work. For all of the fruit ripeness, alcohol, and sunshine, there’s simply something missing here.

Price: $49
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample