The Death Metal Red Vol.1 2016 is a private label wine blend found at Whole Foods for $8.99 and sourced from vineyards in the Castilla-LaMancha growing area of central Spain. This wine does not exist on the internet, that’s not uncommon for private label wines since part of the reason for their existence is to remove advertising and promotional costs from the equation and to also lower distribution costs giving the seller (in this case that seems to be Whole Foods) an advantage profit-wise over normal retail wines. But a check of the back label shows the Death Metal Red to be associated with Lauren Rosillo a noted Spanish winemaker and a leading enology researcher, enology is the science of winemaking which delves deep in the winemaking process. The US importer is part of a wine group that features several well-known and interesting wine labels. So, even though we don’t know what grapes are in the blend or how the wine was made it does seem to have people of solid pedigrees involved in both Spain and the US. Which leaves us with what is known, the name and the label graphics, Death Metal Red vol.1 on a background of a fluffy white cloud with a unicorn, crowned with a rainbow. If you check Amazon, Death Metal Unicorn is an actual thing, with all sorts of t-shirts and hoodies for sale with different variations of this logo. What any of that has to do with Red wine, Spain, or Whole Foods I don’t know. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is dark, but still see-thru ripe black cherry red. The nose is a little smokey and spicy, some dark berries, dark chocolate, light herbs, and sour cherry. This a fruit-forward, but balanced blend with a mix of ripe, sour, and tart flavors. It starts with blackberry, licorice, spice, ripe blueberry, and plum. The mid-palate adds black pepper, sour cherry, orange zest, and a parting shot of exotic spice. The tannins are soft and the acidity is balanced. The finish is spicy and sticks around for quite some time.
I have a theory that in the value price range you can tell what style of wine is in the bottle by looking at the graphics on the label, but the Death Metal Red Vol.1 2016 kills that notion. Just what kind of wine do you expect with a name like Death Metal, along with rainbows, clouds and unicorns? What is in the bottle is a very Spanish blend, lean though fruity with a hit of interesting spice. I am not sure of the blend, but in Castilla they grow a wide variety of French grapes along with local Spanish grapes like Bobal and Graciano. If you are used to Red blends from the West Coast of the US, the Death Metal Red will taste different, but in a good way. I don’t know if I would seek this bottle out, mainly because there are many solid Spanish wines in this price range. But if you are in the mood for Death Metal, Unicorns and rainbows it is worth a try.