Barefoot Merlot Review

Name: Barefoot Merlot
Type: Red
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: Non-vintage
Price: $8.99

Barefoot wines have interesting marketing. They all have these stickers indicating that they won some wine competition. I’m not really aware of the competitive wine circuit so I can’t judge all this but I suspect they sponsor the competitions. It must work. People must like those stickers and buy the wine on that basis (“Look, this one won a competition and that one didn’t!”).

The judges at those competitions had a crappy job…and I recognize the irony of me saying that. Every bottle of Barefoot I’ve ever tasted has been utterly pedestrian. This merlot is no exception, in every sense of that phrase. The color is appropriate and it smells of boysenberry and tobacco. The flavor has berries, spice, a touch of smoke and a medium finish.

It’s not a bad wine, it’s just unexceptional, which is normal at this price but one can do better.

Bottle of Barefoot Merlot wine

Rex-Goliath Merlot

Name: Rex-Goliath Merlot
Type: Red
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: non-vintage
Price: $10.99

This is another repeat visit for me and I’ve enjoyed the Rex-Goliath wines in the past so I was looking forward to this. As usual, the bottle is talking about that huge rooster and bragging about winning wine competitions. The color is a light ruby hue and the nose is softly aromatic with plenty of raspberry. The flavor is very fruit forward, with raspberry, cherry and boysenberry notes. It’s a lighter bodied wine with very little tannin and a round, supple body.

This wine is fairly direct, there aren’t layers of complexity here, but I would expect that for the price. It’s a very affable wine for short money, well in keeping with the Rex-Goliath tradition.

Bottle of Rex-Goliath Merlot

Cupcake Merlot Review

Name: Cupcake Merlot
Type: Red
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2012
Price: $10.99

In another marketing coup for wineries, I think Cupcake sells a ton of wine primarily because of their delicious name. People love cupcakes, it’s like a cultural phenomenon that I don’t entirely understand. It’s on the way out at this point, but still, it’s pretty amazing that a whole industry arose to fill the seemingly insatiable desire of Americans for cupcakes. Why not just cakes? Too fattening? Not portable enough? Makes no sense.

Anyway, this is Cupcake’s Merlot. The problem with calling a wine “Cupcake” is that wine never tastes like cupcakes, it sets the wrong stage for a wine’s flavor. This wine is ruby colored and cherry scented. The flavor is fruity as well, with a medium mouthfeel and mild tannins. The finish is short but the overall experience is decidedly decent. Again, it’s hard to deliver on the promise of cupcakes, but I’d give it a 5 out of 10.

14 Hands Merlot Red Wine Review

Name: 14 Hands Merlot
Type: Red
Grape: Merlot
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2012
Price: $9.99

This wine, while being an decent wine in a vacuum…is the ugly sister of the Cab in the same vintage. Similar in color, but with a less appealing aroma, a lot more spice and barely any tannins. To my palate this is just a lot lower quality wine for the same price. I would seek out the cabernet of the same vintage and pour all my money into that…as I have done in fact.

 

Bottle of 2012 14 Hands Merlot Wine