Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TWIN FIN CALIFORNIA SHIRAZ 2006


Twin Fin Shiraz

I’m not one who thinks a low-priced wine has to be cheap.  I’ve had plenty of wines at less than ten dollars per bottle which I found quite nice.  Even at the five-dollar mark, it’s not impossible to find quality.  Twin Fin Shiraz is a six-dollar wine which was given as a gift from a casino in Las Vegas.  I happen to like the casino, so I’ll leave them out of this.
Produced at the Constellation Wines facility in Woodbridge, CA, Twin Fin shares the corporate umbrella with labels like Mondavi, Ravenswood, Estancia, Blackstone and a number of other perfectly decent wines that are found in a lot of supermarkets.
I cannot locate any information on where the grapes are sourced for the 2006 vintage, but in the past, Twin Fin has taken Syrah from Monterey County, Lodi, North Coast and Paso Robles. I would guess this changes from year to year, and that the most affordable grapes are used.
The nose is big, but not that enticing.  Blackberry aromas struggle to fight through the alcohol.  It’s only 13.5% abv, so something doesn’t smell quite right.  Speaking of, there’s a bit of a barnyard fragrance coming through that’s not entirely pleasant.  There's quite a bit of oak effect in it, too.  The smell of a wine is supposed to make me want to drink it.  This bouquet makes me want to pour it down the drain.

Thin and harsh are two words I hate to use when writing about a wine, but this wine simply can’t offer anything better.  The dark fruit is there, along with a peppery spice note.  The flavors, which should be so nice, seem too heavily influenced by oak.  Between the off-putting odor and the weak quality on the palate there’s not much nice to say.  It’s a pretty, dark purple. Maybe I can just look at it while I drink something else.
The wine does mellow a bit after an hour or so in the glass, losing some of the heat and a bit of the funk, but it still has a rather hollow mouthfeel and contrived flavor profile.  Two nights later it had mellowed even more, but the weight was still thin and the taste was off.  
Six dollars isn't a lot to pay for a bottle of wine, but I still think it's overpriced.  The fact that it was a gift doesn't make me feel any better about it.  I'd have been happier had the casino given me Two Buck Chuck.