Cline Cellars 2002 California "Red Truck" ($10.00)
This blend of Syrah and Mourvedre shows a clear ruby color with a reddish glow, with a ripe and luscious aroma of mixed red and black fruits. Juicy fruit carries over on the palate in a ripe, fresh flavor profile that's so fruity it almost seems sweet. It's a jovial quaff, but the fruit outruns minimal acidity, leaving a pudgy beverage that seems as much like a "spiked" glass of fruit juice as wine. That said, I find some things to like in it ... a wisp of tannins and an intriguing back note of minerality that's nostalgically reminiscent of old country rain barrels keeps me coming back until the glass is gone. US Importer: (May 18, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: Juicy, medium-rare hamburgers make a natural match with blowzy wines like this; even better was an upscale variation, lamb burgers laced with fresh ginger, garlic and minced South African Peppadew-brand red peppers.



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