Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Strange, Bad and Terrible

Strange - this South African "joke" - the Goats do Roam Wine Company makes tongue-in-cheek fun of the "Cotes du Rhone" appellation in France. This is supposedly one of their best wines, so it is called Goat-Roti (if you don't get it, it stands for Cote-Rotie, one of the premier northern Rhone syrah-based wine appellations. The best Cote-Rotie's go for hundreds of dollars. What I find strange about this wine is that for twenty bucks they think they can compete. This 2004 vintage clocks in at 15% alcohol - and is possibly the lightest 15% wine I have ever tasted. Light berry nose. Medium density, medium bodied, juicy black fruit with dried currants, a little pepper and little else. Fades fast. Tastes unoaked. If you do buy it, decant and wait - the next day some richer dark plum flavours come out. Still, disappointing. Koko factor: "the most uninteresting wine of the week" (as you can see from the photo above, that week was in the summer!). Final rating: OK wine.
One of the prominent Ontario wine critics gave the Pilliteri Estates, 2008 Cabernet-Merlot, Niagara wine a four star rating (out of five). Well, if it cost $2 like two buck chuck, I can see where they are coming from. But it doesn't, it costs $13. Not much, true, but you can buy a nice steak for that money. And I don't believe in rating wines like that...I don't care how much it costs, crap is crap and good is good. OK, so this one has a pretty perfumed, floral nose but it is tainted by candy notes. Light to medium bodied, somewhat sweet but in a cough drop hard candy style, rhubarb and a few strawberries. No green cab franc notes (it's 48% cab franc). No oak (I mention this because they state on the label "the oak balances the body and length of the wine beautifully". Choke....). I wanted to like this Canadian wine, but in the end it is too fake and candyish. Not really enjoyable.
But it is better than the RH Philips, Syrah, 2007 from California. These guys used to make good wine, but appear to have gone down the tubes (I've noticed their "Toasted Head" brand has also gotten worse). They probably buy inferior grapes to ferment (or horror, cheap bulk wine to bottle) and slap their recognized label on it, then laugh all the way to the bank. Horrible fake bubble gum nose on this one - you know, the one that lots of home-made kit wines have. If you hold your nose and don't smell it as you drink it, it is palatable. If you like Welch's grape juice. Soft attack, fake fruit, finishes with candy. Crap wine, waste of $14. Will NEVER buy this brand again. Oh, and very strange - I often freeze wines I don't finish, as it actually preserves them well (just put them in a lukewarm water bath when you want to revive them). This one wouldn't freeze, it stayed liquid. Oh oh...what the hell do they put in it??? Antifreeze?? (and yes, I know ethanol is an "anti-freeze" due to its lower than water freezing point, but in my freezer, most wines less than 15% EtOH will soldify).


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