Complex and textured well beyond what the modest price point would suggest, this is a full-on Shiraz, loaded with plum and black cherry fruit, and with enough tar, coffee and olive to retain your interest sip after sip. It’s warm and velvety on the finish.— J.C.
A new project from Jayson Woodbridge (the owner of Napa’s Hundred Acre label), Layer Cake refers to the soils of his Barossa Vineyard, but it could equally apply to the richness and density of the wine. It’s creamy in texture, and filled with blueberries, spice and everything nice, finally ending with hints of…— J.C.
Fully ripe, easy-drinking Shiraz, offering a multitude of fruit nuances—plum, black cherry, blueberry—plus just a hint of tarriness. Tannins are silky and unobtrusive, making this a wine to drink now and over the next few years.— J.C.
If you like the toasted, smoky character of oak, this full-bodied, rich-tasting Cabernet will please you. That lightly charred, spicy taste of barrels lends a welcome bite to the otherwise nearly sweet fruit flavors. It’s a good value, too.— J.G.
With a motto of “affordable luxury,” Layer Cake sources Chardonnay fruit from the fringes of pricey appellations. In this case it draws from Monterey County vineyards near the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County vineyard between the Santa Maria Valley and the Sta. Rita Hills. The results are solid for the…— M.K.
There’s something delicious about this wine, but it’s not very Pinot Noir-like. Aromas of barbecue, bacon fat, smoked meats and strawberry carry through to the flavor profile, making it a perfect pairing for grilled ribs.— M.K.
Two vintages of this wine are on the books, and frankly something isn’t clicking. After a flat-out weak wine in 2007, this one is showing raisiny, pasty, lactic qualities and too much clumsy sweetness. It’s like a cloying ball of blackberry candy accented by bacon fat.— M.S.
Despite all the back-label talk of richness and layer-cake complexities, this wine lacks much of the sweet, yummy character that folks love about Argentine Malbec. We acknowledge that 2007 was an abnormally cool year in Mendoza, but what’s here is lean, disjointed and angular.— M.S.