Tried these two last week:
1. Apothic Crush Smooth Red Blend Calif (; 14.5%) Modesto 2015: Very dark mega-purple color; strong vanilla/Am.oak very grapey/spicy Zin/blackberry/boysenberry ripe bit jammy nose; soft off-dry (0.4%??) rich/lush/fat very strong Am.oak/vanilla bit earthymushroomy/Lodi/CentralVlly blackberry/boysenberry/ripe flavor w/ light smooth/ripe tannins; long soft/fat very strong blackberry/grapey/boysenberry/very ripe strong vanilla/Am.oak bit earthy/mushroomy off-dry finish w/ light soft/ripe tannins; lots of ripeness and blackberry/jammy character and a bit tiring on the palate; one glass will do you. $10.00 (SM)
2. Apothic Inferno Red Blend (SmallBatch/LmtdRelease; Aged in whiskey brls for 60 days; 15.9%) Modesto 2015: Very dark color; very intense Am.oak/vanilla slight whiskey/Bourbon light blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/Syrah bit smokey some complex nose; soft very ripe rather alcoholic/hot very intense Am.oak/vanilla bit whiskey/Bourbon intense boysenberry/blackberry/Syrah/Zin ripe/jammy flavor w/ light soft tannins; long soft/fat/rich/lush very ripe/blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah strong vanilla/Am.oak some whiskey/charred/Bourbon slight alcoholic/hot slight earthy/Lodi perhaps off-dry (0.2%?) finish w/ light overripe/soft tannins; loads of overripe Syrah character and a ton of Am.oak w/ only a low-key Bourbon/charred character; actually rather interesting/unique but one hlf-glass will do you. $13.00 (SM)
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. Apothic: This is a Gallo product. The first Apothic Red was introduced in 2010. A blend that varies from Zin/Cab/Syrah/Merlot. It is a wine that is widely dissed by all of us knowledgeable folks in the wine community who's....sniff/sniff...tastes are far above a Gallo product. Probably, in the majority of the cases, w/o bothering to try the wine.
I was attracted to trying this wine because the Inferno had just been released. I'm a big fan of the Nebbiolos of the Inferno region of the Valtellina and wanted to see how a Calif version would compare to the old-world versions I know & love. Because it's a limited release (probably only 500,000 cases worth), I figured it wouldn't show up here in NM. Didn't find it at TraderJoe's (yet), but...low & it was in the local Smith's grocery.
I served this blind to my group as a mystery wine. They mostly guessed it to be a cheap/overblown Oz Shiraz. Since we had tried a quotidian NinoNegri Inferno a month ago, they were stunned when I told them it was an Inferno & just couldn't get the Nebbiolo character in it. Then, with a $hit-eating grin, I unveiled it as a Calif Inferno. Noone had heard of it before. When I revealed it was aged in used whiskey barrels, there was some grudging admissions that they could see the whiskey character.
Was this wine actually aged in whiskey barrels? I would tend to doubt it. I would guess Gallo might have immersed whiskey staves or whiskey barrel chips in their tanks of this wine. Maybe they aged a small fraction in used whiskey barrels and then blended it into the rest? But this is pure speculation on my part.
So this is a mighty fine example of a confected/spoofalated red wine. Undoubetedly made w/ all the tricks in the Gallo arsenal...mega-purple, finished off-dry, probably put thru RO, tightly filtered...made to appeal to the mass market and to Aunt Tillie...bless her sole.
Is it a bad wine, whatever definition you use for "bad"?? Absolutely not. It is loaded w/ varietal fruit, Zin & Syrah. It even displays a bit of the SanJoaquin terroir and, after all, isn't the ultimate goal of any wine to display its terroir? That's what the wine experts tell us.
Would I buy this wine again or order it by the glass in a restaurant?? Absolutely not. Because it is off-dry, it is very tiring on the palate. I would pour myself a glass, take a small swallow, and then dump the rest down the drain. Did that over three days...same result.
But the wine is not at all boring in the sense of an equivalent Charles Shaw Zin or Syrah. It's actually loaded w/ flavor.
But if your neighbor Fred brings you over a glass of Apothic Red, his newest great discovery, tell him it's far better than the CharlesShaw he's been drinking.
So this is probably my last visit to an Apothic red. Until they come out w/ the next one that's aged in a tequila or a sake barrel.
You can thank me for taking one for the team by sending me a real btl of Inferno.

Edited by TomHill (10-30-2017 17:14:59)