TN; '12 Roblar Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard; Purple. Sweetness. Ample sharp oak. Alcohol burn. Nothing else. No midpalate, no discernible varietal flavor, no finish other than ETOH. Each and every time I have consumed a single glass of this wine-a three to four ounce pour-I immediately suffered a frontal headache, unique to this particular wine. Tried from three different bottles, identical experience/trauma.
The purple pulpit; I’m 56 and been drinking wine since my friggin bar mitzvah, and not just the Mogen David shite but my dad’s 2nd through 5th growth Bordeaux which he shared with me ever since my reaching the mark of psuedo-manhood (he saved his first growths and DRC’s for company, including a self-professed Hungarian Count who single-handedly drank cases of Dad’s DRC’s, but I digress), I have resorted to many a grocery store wine on occasion, been through much of Jon Rimmerman’s stuff, and have had my share of homemade stuff, including my friend’s Larry’s kitchen-made wines and Larry seems oblivious to VA, and all that said, this is the single worst wine I have EVER had that was not outright flawed. Last Bottle pitched it and I caught it at $9.76 a bottle delivered. I thought at the time that Arroyo Seco was near Arroyo Grande which just amply demonstrates that I have drank far too much wine and suffered too much shrinkage of the brain, and further thought that if all else failed, I could use this $9.76 wine to boil down in my coq au vin. Now that I have suffered through three bouts of self-immolation, I would never inflict such sacrilege upon any species of poultry. I have now opened three bottles of this plonk and each has been identically terrible. It brought to mind this quote from the inestimable Larry Schaffer commenting upon winery parlor tricks in the context of the 40th Anniversary Caymoose;
One ‘trick’ many wineries do is to add ‘varietal concentrate’ just before bottling to boost up the fruit. You can buy this concentrate from a few places in the Central Valley, and each has something like 60-65% RS - and no, that is not a typo. Basically syrup, you figure out how much you need to add to boost up the entire RS to a desired level, mix it in, and voila, the fruit ‘pops’ . . . And then filter before bottling.
Not brain surgery - and probably used more than you or I even realize . . .
Now I have no way of knowing, of course, that Roblar indeed used “varietal concentrate” syrup in the spoofulation and concoction of this evil drink. Speaking of additions, in the tiniest possible print along the side of the front label is a disclosure of 15.8 percent alcohol which I suspect is low. I simply tend to think that if ever a wine signaled such a practice, this is it. Again, the single worst bottle of other-than-overtly “flawed” wine I have ever encountered. If there is a worse one, I would love to hear about it.