Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Toad Hollow Cacaphony Zinfandel

Like its label with a dancing frog and a fox playing a banjo and black and white tile flooring, this wine was all over the place. Not in a good way. This wine didn't wing any fans. Its nose gave rise to heavy alcohol fumes and bay leaves.

With flavors of star anise, plum, and a hint of tuberose it came on strong and left weak with rubbery, unstructured tannins.

It's strange having friendly get-togethers/wine tastings because no one ever likes to criticize something that a guest has brought. Especially guests with good taste in wine - as was the case of the Brown Bagger who brought this bottle. You want to say something positive, but you also have to be honest.

This wine scored very poorly with the brown baggers, and by rights it should be wearing the brown bag of shame.

RATING: 1.5 Screwcaps
LABEL: Toad Hollow - Cacaphony
GRAPE: Zinfandel
PRICE: $12.99 ( shame on you Toad Hollow - at this price you need better quality control)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Castoro Cellars Viogner

Brownbag newcomer Leora brought this 2007 Viogner from Castoro Cellars to the Brownbag v. Paso Robles event. To mixed reviews (something to remember when organizing a wine tasting night - don't treat it like a no holds barred competition [even though I do]).

It opened up with a good floral nose but some found that its magnolia scented flavors gave way to a perfume-y, bitter fruit forward flavor. Brown Bagger Dennis said it tasted like lemon head candies which reminded him of seeing Superman 3 in Rogue River, Oregon, so maybe it made him sad to think of Superman getting mean and flicking beer nuts at supersonic speeds at the mirror behind the bar where he was drinking. I mean, I think Superman 3 is the one where he turns mean, and he has to battle Richard Pryor and a super computer - God being a screenwriter back then must have been a dream job.

Anyway... Some of the panel found the wine to have flat tannins with a lingering finish and a hint of bitterness.

It personally did not bring me back to any Superman movie screenings nor did I think it bitter. The one criticism I had of the wine is that it lacked the crispness of a viogner that I like. It had more of an oaky, chardonnay character which is why the group decided that the best food pairings would be bacon wrapped scallops and sausages with sauteed collard greens.

RATING: 2 Screwcaps
LABEL: Castoro Cellars
GRAPE: Viogner
PRICE: $9.99