Phinney sold the Locations brand this past summer to Modesto's E and J Gallo, two years after selling off the Orin Swift brand. A price wasn't announced, but Phinney will reportedly stay on as the winemaker "indefinitely."
E5, the fifth vintage for his Spanish red blend, combines Garnacha, Tempranillo, Monastrell and Cariñena. Those last two you might know better as Mourvèdre and Carignan. Phinney says unabashedly that E5 is all about the "interplay of provenance, artistry, freedom, and creativity" with the Iberian peninsula as a backdrop. Five regions are represented by the grapes in this wine, Priorat, Jumilla, Toro, Rioja, and Ribera del Duero.
That guy Parker loved a previous vintage, throwing around adjectives like full-bodied, opulent and voluptuous in his wine-porn style. The wine was aged in barrels for ten months and hits 14.5% abv for alcohol and retails for about $20.
For starters, this is an aromatic wine. The nose blasts dark fruit and a drawer full of savory aromas. There are cigars, trod-upon leaves, tar and an old catcher's mitt in that dark liquid. Herbs abound, with thyme, sage, nutmeg and peppers leading the way. On the palate it's blackberryland, with a heapin' helpin' of currant and licorice. The flavors are rough-cut and rustic, as is the tannic structure. This wine needs a big, fatty steak to give it something useful to do.
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