It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, which is exactly what I said wouldn’t happen once I got into the heavy stuff on the site. I’ll try to keep a minimum of 3 posts a week during the Wine(Accessorized) launch. I need to show my readers loyalty before I deserve any in return.
The Back Story:
A couple weeks ago, I laid down my highest rating ever, a 9 out of 10 for the 2008 Yellow + Blue Torrontes. I raved about, among other things, its complexity, its price point, and its environmental considerations. I’d also bought their 2007 Malbec at the same time, making it a sort of two-fer gamble on a new wine producer.
A quick recap on Yellow + Blue: They’re an organic wine company, bringing in wines from Argentina, Chile, and Spain that fit their call for sustainable growth and environmentally-friendly practices. They package their wine in cartons rather than glass bottles, lessening the environmental impact of both the packaging itself and the shipping weight. Good practices, good philosophy… just sometimes the wine isn’t on the same level.
(apologies for the amateurish photo… it was a dinner wine)
The appearance of the wine was reddish-purple, not very translucent, not much legs, and the swirl suggested a thin texture.
The nose of the wine was very hot, a lot of alcohol coming through. Even pulled back from the wine, I could only detect hints of blackberry and vanilla through the haze. Given the alcohol level (13.5%), the heat that I detected suggests an imbalance in the wine.
The texture of the wine was surprisingly decent. It wasn’t as thin as I expected, but it wasn’t anything spectacular either.
The flavor of the wine was weak, utterly unimpressive. It was raspberry forward, a little bit spicy, a lotta bit bitter, with a medicinal undertone that couldn’t have been more inappropriate for a weak, fruit-flavored wine. It was extremely dry, had a low acidity, and most of its flavor is overpowered by the nondescript bitterness and spiciness. I paired it with a spicy spaghetti, but unfortunately it did not match well at all. It maybe became a little more fruit forward and tamed the dryness, but it mostly just got hotter and more bitter. I’m not sure any food could salvage the flavors in this wine.
For the Casual Drinker:
This wine, if you want to be diplomatic about it, has a very subtle flavor. Unless you’ve trained your palate at all, you’re more than likely just going to get the tannins, the bitterness, and the spicy feeling. It’s an altogether unpleasant experience, not really leading to anything easy-drinking. If you’re looking for a Malbec, or any medium-bodied red wine in general, there are a lot of other options at this price point ($12.99 per liter, putting it in the $10 and under wines per traditional 750ml) that are much more enjoyable.
To illustrate my disenchantment with this wine: some of what’s left of the carton went to marinating a steak, and about half of the carton sits in my refrigerator, most likely untouched for the immediate future. It’s a huge downer, but I suppose that’s a risk you take when the producer doesn’t have immediate control of all aspects of wine production. It’s a lower priced wine at around $13 per liter, but to me, it’s still not worth the price. 3/10
(edit:: I completely bungled this review. I poured a second glass just to verify what I already knew, that whatever I had noted as far as the visual aspects of the wine were just way off. Sure enough, the wine had legs consistent with 13.5% alc, the level which I didn’t even bother to double check in the first place. Brain fart, ignorance, whatever, I blew it. While it doesn’t change the fact that I simply didn’t enjoy the wine, and I sustain the rating I originally assigned, I did a poor job explaining why, and I contradicted myself in a hastily-written post. Consider it a lesson learned, and from now on I’ll make sure to actually proofread my tasting notes and posts instead of just assuming I was on the ball.)