Toast and blueberries make for a welcoming bouquet; in the mouth the oak emerges as the dominant flavor, turning caramel-like. Some fine tannins should drop out in a year or so, making it worthy of short-term cellaring if you like your wines on the woody side.
Welcoming blackberry, anise, smoke and mustard-seed aromas lead into a tart blueberry-blackberry palate accented by paprika and cranberry notes. Medium-weight and lively, the wine finishes with toasty vanilla, cedar and cherry flavors. Enjoy it now, while it’s young.
The Phillips has burnt cracker and gingerbread notes on the nose, plus ripe mixed berries and toast flavors from palate to finish. A lightweight one-trick pony, but absolutely drinkable. —D.M.
Awkward and earthy, with off-putting medicinal, herbal aromas and flavors. There are some apple notes but they are drowned in tart, chemically ones. This is a difficult wine to say anything nice about.