Maker: Virgin Vines, Hopland, Mendocino County, California
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, screw cap
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
When we saw the familiar Virgin logo on an attactive bottle of wine, we knew we had to try Virgin Vines Shiraz 2004 right away. Would it be a cheesy licensing job in which a label gets slapped on a bottle of mediocre wine, which then gets marked up another 50%? In this case, the answer is no… this shiraz is bold and fruity, and a definite crowd pleaser. Its aroma is berry, spice, and a hint of licorice. The flavor is where this wine comes on strong, with powerful cherry and strawberry mixed with oak and balanced tannins. The flavors trail into a long-lasting finish.
Virgin Vines is yet another venture of the omnipresent Virgin Enterprises. They are trying to cultivate an unpretentious, though not low end cheap, brand. Both Virgin’s website and bottle text poke fun at traditional snobby wine terms. The bottle proclaims, “if you feel the need to describe this wine as ‘full bodied with great legs,’ we suggest you lie down until the feeling passes.” The website warns, “If you’re looking for recipes or food pairings, hate to break it to you, but you’re in the wrong place.” This is one case where the marketing fits the wine. This is a bold, unsubtle, but tasty wine – if you crack a bottle, you’ll find yourself refilling your glass more than once.”