The general consensus was that this wine was past its peak.
SAD: Dry, not full-bodied. I can stand it but wouldn't choose it.
SD: Very heavy, overripe bouquet -- portly, with vinegar sour compost. The flavor is stern and unforgiving, like a dispeptic Yugoslavian Czar. Rancid and off, like old orange peels stored in the garage next to sweaty socks. I predict this wine will throw its home nation in war and misery. I won't finish this glass. F+
CD: A pathetic Krusevac red; obviously the result of the decline and moral turpitude of the Lazar line.
DM: This stuff sucks. However... no wait, it still sucks. Tastes like moldy bark. Long sucky finish.
BW: Tasty, medium body, cherry finish. Slightly sour aftertaste. Leaves you hungry for beef. A good "casual" wine. B-
SD: Simple but pleasing bouquet. A warm wine, a straight cabernet-like body offset with a hint of fruitiness, maybe orange. Like many of the Bulgarian wines, this is straight forward fare, not very complex but a solid easy-drinking wine at a bargain price. B-
BW: This wine had a strange sour note on first tasting, but is so much better after breathing for a few hours. Good full flavor, but somewhat unbalanced, with a sweet black cherry flavor predominating. B-
SD: Color: dark, befitting a "black label". Nose: rich, pungent, with black olives. Taste: Slightly mulchy with sharp greens like asparagus and arugula. Hint of urea. Rich but slight unpleasant chemical overtone that fades after breathing. B-
BW: The nose is unusual -- nutty rather than fruity. The color is a good, deep burgundy. The odd note in the nose is very strong on the tongue. Otherwise, this wine has nicely balanced acid and a medium body. Unfortunately the odd flavor is not ingratiating itself to me. C-
SD: Gentle nose with hint of raspberries and acorns. Showing some sign of oxidation, but not yet too far over the hill -- still quite drinkable. It's held out for the last decade but won't last forever. Strong oak character (again, with a hint of acorn) predominates in this blend. C
BW: This wine has a rich, spicy bouquet with clear notes of cherry, licorice and black pepper. On the palate it reveals a light body with sufficient acid and good flavor. The finish is disappointing, but this is a friendly good-natured wine. B-
SD: Red cab nose; not subtle, not offensive. Light, easy drinking, not a great wine, but it doesn't try to be. It is a good bargain. Definite cherries and citrus in the finish. C+
BW: Good bouquet full of concord grapiness. The acid seems to balance the fruitiness just right. This wine would be a natural with a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Very nice! B
SD: Concord bouquet, slightly musty. An American wine, nicely dry. A little woody and flat, not as structured as the sweeter Rifleport [above], but maybe it needs a little more time to develop. Still, light and tasty. B-
CF: When I was sixteen I would babysit for a family in northwest Baltimore: in their fridge was always a bottle of Manichevitz that I stole an inch from, hoping no one would notice. Now I have confessed. And this wine made me do it -- it has the same flavor BUT not so cloyingly sweet -- this wine is lighter, cooler and drinkable with food, drinkable without crime. A C- wine, but it made me confess. Don't drink it if you have something to hide. C-
BW: This wine has an exhuberant aroma of American grapes -- lushly fruity. On the tongue there's a nice bit of spritz and the the assertive flavor of American grapes. This would be great served with barbeque. Overall, it lacks complexity and is too sweet for my taste, but nonetheless a whopping fun drink. Bottoms up! B+
SD: A frothy strawberry red, this wine carries a lush American bouquet. While I normally prefer a drier wine, the Rifleport Red is quite tasty, with much more structure and development than I would expect from a midwestern red. It's American roots are unmistakable -- there's no confusing this with a pinot noir or cabernet! -- but the Rifleport presents its own character with enough pride and style as to give me a twinge of good old U. S. Heartland patriotism. Quite nice lightly chilled, with a hint of cherries and chocolate in the finish. B+
[Yes, the above two reviews were written independently, as is our goal with all reviews!]
BW: Nice bright fruity bouquet. Cute cherry color. This is a perky little wine, easy to drink, simple and refreshing. Some cheese would help balance the acidity. Very drinkable. C+
SD: Fruity, impish nose. No lush body here, but it's got a nice personality: a mix of fruit, oak, and a sparkle of acidity. Quite pleasant and easy drinking -- an excellent grocery store bargain wine. But it fizzles out quickly with no finale. NOTE: This wine is less than two years old, and I think it's at its peak now. B-
BW: Great bouquet, bright and fruity. This wine is medium-bodied, with good acid and lots of flavor. I prefer a heavier, lusher wine, but this is a fine example of a lighter style. B+
SD: Fragrant: apples, honeydew melon. A tasty medium-bodied red. Doesn't pack a full-bodied Seismo-Zombie punch, but it is smooth and elegant and goes down easy. Some structural allusions to cherry, watermelon rind and smoke. Nice lingering finish. This wine makes me want to pull up the Spanish Wine Page and start reading! B
SD: Rich and smooth, though somewhat hollow in body. Hint of prime rib (medium rare) in the nose and flavor. Soft, with some bing cherry on the side. Easy to drink and easy to get drunk on -- no April Fools joke. B
BW: The barolo is a mature brownish red color, with a sharp foxy taste. The flavor is very dry and rather dubious. You could pass this off as an early attempt at homemade wine. D+
SD: A dry red, light bit meaty... pepperoni, to be exact. Definite cold cuts in this wine. Smooth, but a little thin and a hint of the old Arkansas. A delight to a carnivore, perhaps, but I give it a C
BW: The sharp spiciness of the zin really comes through, but the cab seems too shy. This is a tasty, medium-bodied dry wine, simple yet satisfying. What a bargain! B
SD: A light red for a zin-cab mix, almost watery, but with a nice smooth flavor. Warm on the edge of the tongue, but a little hollow, but still it partly succeeds with a "classic" California red finish. Overall, a good taste and a worthy buy, but the meek body suggests a crop of rain-soaked vines. B-
BW: Sharp, rich, foxy, not your typical red. I'm guessing "barbera" means barbaric -- this is a rather rough wine, and should be served with food to tone it down. B
SD: Wonderful smoky fragrance. Warm cedar and roasted apple peel fill the mouth. Very different from standard California varietals, it brings to mind a freshly baked rhubarb pie over a wood fire, a nice flaking crust, dry yet tasty. Hint of black olive adds a puzzling note to a wine otherwise worth drinking. On repeated tastings, the balance seems a less fine. B