Issue XIII: Apothic Red [Blend] Edition
After mining through all the sections by countries of the world at my most frequented wine store, I hit on the blend area. Blends can be an excellent way to obtain value wines (the vast majority are under $10, even without being on SPA), if you’re not tied into wanting one particular grape. While I think single grape wines certainly have their place, I’m unabashedly a big fan of blends and no trip to an actual wine store is complete without a trip to that aisle.
This is a good case in point where it tempers the heaviness of Zinfandel and the boldness of Cabernet Sauvignon with Syrah and Merlot, which loses none of the boldness and retains enough of a heavy mouth feel to really appeal to my wife. The dominant flavor here is deep, dark, rich cherry, no matter what else you may read and it can be very intense. To my mind, while the flavor varies, both it and the mouth feel are right up tight against the border of too much for me…yet it never quite makes it over and this is a well-crafted and skillfully done wine.
This is one I have also recommended a lot as it has a good tinge of sweetness, but is not overboard and several friends have picked up bottles. All of them have enjoyed it, one so much that he now keeps it on hand, which I will sometimes do as well. It is very accessible overall, as long as one can handle the prominence and heaviness of this wine and should go well with a variety of foods. Some of them will take it straight from the bottle, which is possible, but this really does better with about a 15 – 20 minute sit and is one of the few that I like closer to room temperature than the usual very slight chill.
For $14 a bottle off-SPA, I usually will wait until it goes on SPA and then pick up a few bottles. It is a very good compromise wine as my wife enjoys it thoroughly (far and away her favorite) and while I’m not quite as enthralled with it, I do find it to be a very worthy addition to the list and to drink, of course. I would call this one SPA Only, for the simple fact that I probably wouldn’t consider it off-SPA.