17 September, 2010

When you disagree with the critics.

I've been on the lookout for lower priced wines for everyday drinking. I found this bottle by reading the little cards at the wine shop; the reviews were in and many were raving about this wine. Plus, it was only $9.99 so I figured this was going to be the deal of the century.

Here's the description from both wine.com and Wine Advocate (Robert Parker):
winemaker's notes:

This is a blockbuster young red wine with explosive, luscious aromas. Vitiano Rosso is deep ruby-red in color, and offers a wide range of fruit and spice aromas, including black cherry jam, licorice, and tobacco leaf. This versatile wine pairs well with a wide array of food, including meat, pasta, and pizza. It is best enjoyed in its youth when its fresh fruit character is most evident. Vitiano Rosso is a perennial value.
critical acclaim:
"The 2008 Vitiano Rosso (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese) is a racy, sleek wine that impresses with its layers of perfumed red cherries and sweet toasted oak. The wine offers terrific clarity and precision in a slightly taut, focused style for this offering. A few months of bottle age seems prudent. According to proprietor Riccardo Cotarella, the bottle variation that occasionally shows up in Vitiano is most likely attributable to the different amounts of time the various lots spend in bottle prior to arriving on the market. Clearly lots that have more time in bottle have the potential to show greater harmony than lots that have less time in bottle. That said, slight bottle variation issues here are a minor quibble for a wine that delivers so much value. "
89 Points
The Wine Advocate

Sounds pretty great, right? That's what I thought, too. Unfortunately, I did not have the same experience. Blockbuster isn't a word I would have used. Yes, I tasted berries, but not at the level of jamminess. I expected something heavier and rounder and instead I found it to be a very light wine that reminded me of watermelon rind. Perhaps that's the same note that wine.com found when they say "tobacco leaf". When I see Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot on the label, I expect something with full body and ripe black fruit. Not watermelon rind. Perhaps the majority of the blend is Sangiovese. I will agree however, that this bottle delivers great value. At only  $9.99 it does make a great pizza wine. 

If anyone else finds this wine, give it a try and let me know what you think!


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