Last bottle, and this time I'll keep it short. Low alcohol, some residual sugar. Nose retains some cherry. So instead of tossing or using for cooking, drink it chilled as an aperitif wine, and it seems just fine and will be pleasantly enjoyable.
Wow, the reviews on this wine are all over the place, from love it to hate it. Usually when the spread is this great, there is a correlation between the scores and the total number of CT tasting notes of the person scoring the wine (for example, those who love it have contributed many tasting notes, those who hate it have contributed very few total CT tasting notes, or vice versa). For this particular wine, this does not appear to be the case. Some of those who contribute a lot love it and some who contribute a lot hate it. My own previous score (89) and number of tasting notes, appears to fall right about in the middle of the pack.
So, I am going to try something I've never done before. I'm going to taste it again but with a specific eye toward reacting to some of the posted notes.
So here goes:
First impressions relative to my own previous notes. Yech!!! When I tasted it previously I opened it as a dessert after a large meal, anticipating an over-ripe wine. Now I am tasting it on its own with no food. Definitely not a good way to drink this wine. In fact, I'm finding it outright unpleasant and am continuing only in the name of science! :). (But don't get me wrong - I'm not denying my previous experience - it was enjoyable consumed as dessert at the end of a meal).
Okay, so now on to what I set out to do, reacting to a few of the posted comments:
1. Sweet. Yes, and not just in terms of ripeness of the fruit. This wine clearly has residual sugar. I don't have a problem with that per se. (I love Spatburgunder from the rhiengau that has residual sugar). But the problem with this wine is that there isn't enough acidity to support the residual sugar when drunk on its own (maybe some of the acidity has also faded since the last tasting, since I seem to recall much more acidity).
2. Disjointed and spiky. I do remember this from my last experience. This seems to be less so now.
3. Elegant. No, sorry. Unusual, yes.
4. Flinty and mineral driven. I can't find this.
5. Crisp, acidic. I remember it as acidic But I think much of the acidity has now faded and is lacking.
6. Red berriers, rhubarb, guava. Yes, this seems spot on to me.
7. Kook aid, artificial flavor strawberries and jolly rancher. Yes, this also seems right to me. I think 6 and 7 are actually expressing similar characteristics, one expressed in negative terms and the other expressed in positive or neutral terms.
8. Thin. Yes, this is what surprised me on first tasting. I think it is thin on the fruit, with the viscosity coming from the residual sugar. But I didn't see this as necessarily bad when the wine was in balance, just very different.
So, my overall take away. I won't score it this time. If I did, it would be a much lower score joining those who scored in the 70's. But more importantly, I think the wine needs to be consumed in the right context. On its own, I find it undrinkable. Treated as a more alcoholic version of a rheingau spatlese spatburgunder, at the end of a meal or with bbq, it could be enjoyable again.
Actually, I changed my mind. It's more honest if I do score it since I think my overall assessment is that I was wrong with my previous score and agree with the low scorers (the loss of acidity since the previous tasting two years ago may also be contributing).
Utterly delicious. A luscious and refreshing respite from wines with drying tannins and a dour personality. Great buy south of $20. New world lovers unite! Down with the pleasure haters. :) I'm kidding. Different strokes for different folks.
This was sweet and reminded me of nothing so much as Kool Aid, and I am not drinking the Kool Aid of the other reviews. The nose was okay, a little floral. Definitely red berries in the front palate--okay, artificial flavor strawberries and Jolly Rancher (not a compliment coming from me--I dreaded getting those at Halloween). Then just an aftertaste like hummingbird food. Put it next to the stove, but not even sure I can cook with something this sweet.
10/21/12: Horrible sweet plonk. It is thin, highly sugared and hot (like watery berry syrup). Maybe IHOP should sell it. No improvement on day 3, 4, 5, etc Someone gave this to me as a humorous "what not to buy" sample and they were dead on!
Poured through Vinturi into decanter. Best tasting on day 3. Day 1 was overpowering fruit. Way too sweet, absolutely over the top fruitbomb. Day 2 it had settled down some, but was quite smooth and enjoyable on day 3, with nice subtle secondary flavors that were hidden behind the wall of sweet fruit on days prior. Good stuff, but needs time. For $8 at Grocery Outlet, I'm not going to complain!
Blood garnet with med-lite viscosity in the glass. Cherry, Sprite and minerals on the nose. Med-lite body and effervescent with cherry cola, sprite, strawberry, citrus and licorice on the palate. Spiky and disjointed. Med-short finish. On closeout at Grocery Outlet.
I recall being excited to drink this when I bought it and then promptly started drinking lots of pinot noir. So it sat for a while.
Appears ruby approaching garnet in the glass with a healthy watery edge. Dried cherries and a bit of muted mint on the nose. Sensual mouth feel, medium body and medium-long finish. Would absolutely buy again.
I thought I had figured out that I had to spend a lot to get any form of elegance or uniqueness in an Australian wine. This delivers both at a great QPR. It has the sensation of being very light, despite the fact that the mid palate is very rich. The nose is like one of those strawberry guava juice drinks. The tannins are very soft, but there is some decent acidity for the finish. None of the typical spiciness of a grenache. I would have liked just a bit more structure, but at $18 this is pretty impressive. I doubt many would peg this as an under twenty dollar Aussie grenache if tasted blind.
Nose of red berries, very interesting flavor profile. Lots of unique secondary flavors, like rhubarb, guava, and citrus pith. Very nice, light frame and tannins, medium finish. Like it for its complexity and individuality, but the primary fruit flavors are simple and very ripe, with not enough acidity to make it truly balanced or refreshing. Would be outstanding otherwise, great QPR regardless.