The Apothic Dark Limited Release 2013 is a blend of Petite Sirah, Teroldego and Merlot sourced from more than one California grape growing AVA, but the majority of the grapes came from the Lodi AVA (east of Napa). The Dark is a limited edition for E & J Gallo’s hugely popular Apothic line of Red And White blends. Teroldego is a grape usually found in northern Italy, it has characteristics reminiscent of ZInfandel and is a grape not normally found in California wine blends. Apothic says the Dark was influenced by a variety of oak. The inside of oak barrels are charred by an open flame, the amount of char, medium, light, whatever the winemaker chooses, adds chocolate, vanilla, spice and mocha flavors to the wine. Usually wine is added to charred barrels, but with value priced wine, it is not uncommon for oak staves to be tossed into wine aged in stainless steel vats. You get the oak flavors, but no aging properties. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is opaque, black cherry red with a pink rim. The nose is ripe black and blue berries, a whiff of smoke, bacon fat, fudge brownie and mild baking spice. The Apothic Dark is a smooth, full-bodied wine, with a little nectar sweetness. It starts with very ripe dark berries, cranberry, Snickers chocolate, and oak spice. The mid-palate brings raspberry jam, cocoa powder and cold coffee. The tannins are smooth and stay out the way. The acidity is covered by the body of the wine. The finish is full and long.
The Apothic Dark Limited Release 2013 is a crowd pleaser wine, smooth and rich, easy to drink (in a good way), with enough chocolate and mocha to put a box of Godiva chocolates to shame. This is not a wine that you pour when you want to contemplate the universe, you pour Apothic Dark for friends who are intent on having fun. I have tried the regular Apothic Red and Apothic White wines and I think a like the Apothic Dark best. They all have a touch of sweetness to them, nothing cloying or out of balance, but the Apothic Dark has the body and richness to completely balance and enhance its sweet side. The Apothic Dark is not necessarily a food wine, it will do fine with burgers and pizza, but its rich, smooth nature is best experienced on its own, but maybe not on your own, invite some friends, throw a party.
#this bottle was received as a sample