Apothic Red Winemaker’s Blend

Wine: Apothic Red Winemaker’s Blend.

Grapes: Syrah (40 percent), merlot (40 percent), zinfandel (20 percent)

Region: California

Vintage: 2008

Price: $9.99

In the glass: Apothic red wine is a deep, burly sort of crimson to inky-blackish red with a completely opaque center going out into a deeply painted blood-ruby rim definition and seriously high viscosity.

On the nose: The wine immediately reveals layers of ripe, opulent black fruit with dominance by black currants and boysenberries, then eucalyptus, oak, creme de cassis, creme brulee, vanilla, cherry jam and blackberry sorbet. It is a fabulous and complex nose for a California wine, with tons of class coming out.

On the palate: It is a veritable smorgasbord of flavors, highlighted by black cherry fruit, minerals, mint, earthy — almost chewy — notes of blackberries, a firmly structured set of tannins and solid backbone for decent aging ability. The midpalate is powerful with black fruit and minerals, going into the long and tasty finish that is laden with forest berries, licorice root, fern and elder fruit. It is a superb winemaking effort and a blend that defies the pricing category it is in.

Odds and ends: Apothic red is a beautifully packaged bottle of wine. The reason I mention this, is because it looks pricey from the outside and it tastes fabulously expensive inside. This well-crafted wine was inspired by the “Apotheca,” a mysterious place where wine was blended and stored in 13th century Europe. While that has absolutely nothing to do with where this wine comes from, it still sounds pretty cool. In any case, one must exercise caution when coming upon such great looking bottles, because they tend to be all packaging and nothing behind the label. This highly recommended Apothic wine, however, really delivers on many levels and can be said to be a highly successful blending experiment. It should drink well through 2013, and can be enjoyed with a nicely grilled medium-rare sirloin steak and some roasted potatoes.

Gil Lempert Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Bx 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749 or e-mail him aat


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