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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Layer Cake Wines - Tasting (Cab, Shiraz, & Primitivo)

This is a relatively newer brand on the market brought to you by the Vintage Point wine portfolio. The interesting thing about this "brand" is that whoever produces these wines sources the grapes from various parts of the world. There is Italian Primitivo, Argentine Malbec, Aussie Shiraz, Cotes du Rhone, and Napa Cab. I tasted three of the wines a few days ago and took some notes because I was interested in sharing what I thought with you.

2006 Layer Cake Primitivo - IGT Puglia
The first wine I tasted was the Primitivo from Puglia, Italy. Primitivo is said to have a relation to Zinfandel and right from the start I could tell this wine was similar to Zin with it's candied aromas and hi-c like artificial fruits. The bouquet also showed notes of grape jelly, banana runts, french vanilla, and a touch of black licorice. On the palate I got slightly sweet flavors of vanilla, melted black licorice, blackberry jam, black currant, and oak. I think it would be safe to say that this wine shows absolutely no sign of Italian terroir and almost seems like an Aussie fruit bomb. Even though I'm usually a fan of wines that show a sense of place, I think this wine drinks nice if your into candied fruit. 85 Points

2008 Layer Cake Shiraz - South Australia
This is probably the best selling wine of the group in retailer terms. On the nose there is slight hints of mint and eucalyptus, dark chocolate, and mulberry. On the palate this wine shows notes of dark chocolate, black currant, and hints of oak. There really isn't much here in terms of length or complexity and the finish is almost non-existent. There is also a touch of bitter tannin on the finish. 76 points

This was my hands down favorite of the group but it is also about double the price of the previous wines mentioned. It's comes as no surprise to me that the enjoyed a Napa Cab the most because it's hard to source fruit from this region and screw it up too bad! On the nose this wine shows a very nice black raspberry, vanilla, Bing cherry, and perhaps a bit of strawberry preserve action. The flavors typify Napa Cab with hints of rich milk chocolate, raspberry, cherry sauce, vanilla, spice, and a bit of black licorice on the finish. This wine shows much more purity and length then the Shiraz and Primitivo. 88 points
Anonymous said...

I've had the Layer Cake Shiraz for the last several vintages; it's been a strong value for my money ($15). I was surprised you gave it a 78 pt rating, but, could it be possible that it was a bad bottle?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. I am thinking about taking your word on the Layer Cake Primitivo because I like the big fruity type wines. I've been to Calabria and the wines of that region always seem a wee bit too dusty???? They are way too dry for me and my wife.

Thanks so much

Anonymous said...

I love the Layer Cake Wines. I have had all of them and I feel they are solid, delicious wines for the price. The Layer Cake Primitivo in particular doesn't have that dried out, dusty tannins, dirty barrel taste that has plagued Puglia forever. I had the 2008 Layer Cake Shiraz two nights ago and thought it was the best one they've made to date, and your 78 point score is a joke, I found it to have wonderful layers of fruit and a long finish; in fact, an improvment over the in your face wine they made in 2006.

dad said...

i bought two cases of the 08 after tasting a bottle that i felt rivaled the 06. unfortunately some of the bottles in the case are almost undrinkable (probably not even a 78) sour aftertaste. Others in the area agree and one restaurant pulled the wine. Anyone else having this problem?

Anonymous said...

I agree with dad - my bottle was undrinkable and I poured 2/3 down the drain. Too many good wines to waste time on this one.

Anonymous said...

I just tried the Layer Cake Shiraz last night for the first time and was very impressed. I thought it was delicious.

Anonymous said...

I've had a few bottles of the 08 Shiraz and all were very nice....... a favorite with my friends..... I recently purchased 4 cases.... And will enjoy them all winter long... I purchased them for 11.49 a bottle..... Couldn't resist at that price :)

dad said...

The bad case i had was taken back by the wine merchant who checked the wine and agreed it was bad. the distributer is checking into the possible cause.
the good bottles have been really good. Not as good as 06, but good.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I took a look here. We loved the 2008 Shiraz, and I was soooo disappointed in the 2009! I just opened a second bottle and surprise!!! The first was bad. Is this a screw top issue? I can't imagine what else would cause this much difference bottle to bottle.

Anonymous said...

i have been on the fence with layer cake wines. i have always considered them quality wines. no more. i can taste that artificial caramel flavor a mile away. this is nothing more than cool aid with added grape juice. its only through visiting small independant wineries that your palate can appreciate the natural beauty of real wine

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