Cupcake Black Forest

LCBO#: 470088
Price: $14.95
Made in: Livermore, California, US
By: Cupcake Vineyards
Year: 2014

This blended red wine from California starts off with a nice rich aroma of cherries, blackberries among other darker fruits. The label has some class, but a little too busy, and too many different fonts. We keep on going down from there, but not so low. Some good sweetness from the fruits, but the finish is quick and not like written on back label – “long and complex”. Decent dryness but wish the finish was more. Too bad, as was looking good at first.

Rating: 3.4/5

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Apothic Inferno

LCBO#: 485623
Price: $17.95
Made in: California, US
By: E. & J. Gallo Winery

The latest twist in the Apothic wines is being aged in whiskey barrels for 60 days. The aromas are quite sweet because of this. Full red grapes, some leather, syrups and a little burnt wood. The taste is pretty watery with grapes and cherries. The middle is quite mild, with some light maple notes in the finish. Some dryness, bitterness gets stronger in the mouthfeel helping a bit. Still, not as good as the Apothic Dark. Looks like this one was quite limited, as cannot find on LCBO site a few months after reviewing.

Rating: 3.3/5

Twist of Fate Winemaker’s White

LCBO#: 466318
Price: $9.95
Made in: Canada
By: Constellation Brands Inc.

This Canadian blend is composed of Pinot Grigio, Muscat and Chardonnay. The nose seems quite dry at first pour. Then, the fruity grapes grows and hints of charred barrels show up. The mouthfeel is a little crisp, but becomes syrupy. Grapes and caramel taste with some decent bitterness in the finish to blend things. Decent for the inexpensive price.

Rating: 3.5/5

Apothic Dark

imageLCBO#: 392654
Price: $16.15
Made in: California, USA
By: E. & J. Gallo Winery

Always nice to try a new Apothic wine and this one is found in Canada. Nice label, dark which always appeals to us and even the cork is black with the Apothic logo in white, on it. The wine is a real dark red. Lots of berries in the nose with some hints of leather and burnt wood. The mouthfeel is pretty nice some decent tannins, dryness in the finish. Good mild sweetness, but overall some bitterness with the blueberries, blackberries and light sourness in the end. Was expecting to be too rich and full of vanilla but no. This is quite a decent mass-produced wine.

Rating: 3.7/5

Candy Apple Red

imageLCBO#: 371849
Price: $9.95
Made in: Ontario, Canada
By: Diamond Estates

This red wine caught our eye when we went to the LCBO for Halloween party purchases. Was on special and already inexpensive, so decided to try it. At first, it seemed pretty weird, but as it breathes, it gets not bad at all for what is expected. The candy shows off with its strawberry notes. Starts off in the taste, but then lands in the aromas. The first nose we got was cherries with the hints of sourness. Then, eventually we feel the chocolate. Sweet tasting because of this, but a fun red wine overall. Not as bad as expected.

Rating: 3.2/5

Rib Shack Red Vintage Blend

imageLCBO#: 392761
Price: $12.85
Made in: Western Cape, South Africa
By: DGB Wines
Year: 2014

Holy Moly this smells like candy ! Not complaining, but smells like those good bonbon that have a swirl of vanilla and berries. With time, this fake smell disappears and a blend of aromas of the wood chips, vanilla, burnt wood, berries and leather. The taste is mild at first, but gets stronger after breathing a while. A little dry and small tannins. Not as vanilla, not as fake. Lots of berries, lots of grapes. Seemed like an Australian wine at first, but finishes like a decent South African wine that is always good for the price. Just does not have a label like one.

Rating: 3.3/5

Apothic White

LCBO#: 419978
Total Wine#: 120321750-1
Price: $16.95
Made in: California, USA
By: E. & J. Gallo Winery

Had this one in the United States on a visit there, before it was available in Canada. Now available at the LCBO. Very sweet nose with grapes and hints of apple. Where the Apothic fame comes out, is the vanilla in the taste, in the finish especially. Not a bad wine, but gets heavy in the end. Too sweet overall, just too rich. Would not have more than one glass.

Rating: 2.8/5