Friday, September 23, 2011

Mandolin Cab and Syrah

Review: Mondolin Vintners Cabernet and Syrah Central Coast

In this market, ten dollar wines packaged under innocuous labels often signal the equivalent of a pop up store.  There's just so much excess juice on the bulk market looking to find a home.  Speculators are scooping a lot of it up, bottling it under some unheard of, kitschy label, and pricing it right.  The real tell is when there's no vineyard - or even production facility - associated with these.

For these reasons, I tend to be skeptical about brands like Mandolin.

Nevertheless, exceptions do happen - and this is one of those times.

Regrettably, the tasting notes sketched out when drinking these wines were shredded along with some personal financial statements.  Oops.  But the gist of them was this:
  • Both offer good value for the buck.
  • The Syrah was surprisingly structured and had enough going on to hold your attention.  I'd buy it.
  • The Cab was fine, enjoyable even.
  • Neither represent anything too terribly off the menu, except for the fact that - at $10 - they don't suck.  Even a little.
Realizing that these bullets don't represent much in the way of outward praise, consider the context.  The market is indeed flooded with bulk wine bottled under cutesy marsupial labels, most of which is indistinct and flabby.  The sawbuck line is a target price point for a lot of producers and distributors, so there's a glut of ten dollar wine out there.  At least with these you get a little something extra: respectability.

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