I’m not a wine pro by any stretch of the imagination, but this wine was something I just had to review. It’s weird.
The back of the bottle explains the name, “Layer Cake” by saying good wine should be like a layer cake. There should be a layer of chocolate, a layer of fruit, and a layer of spices. I liked the imagery, so bought the bottle. (Plus, the guy at the wine store said he liked it.)
Here’s my take. My metaphors may not be as colorful as Gary Vaynerchuk’s, but I’ll do my best:
The wine has nice color. It’s a Zinfandel, and has the deep color you’d expect to see. It’s fun on the nose. Not literally of course, but smelling it. It has a really powerful overripe fruit smell. It’s almost like fresh red licorice. It’s not like the dried out stuff, but that powerful almost chemical smell of fresh red licorice. It smells intriguing.
The taste is a bit startling. Now, I know you’d think if there’s a picture of cake on the bottle, I should expect it to be sweet. Honestly though, this Zinfandel is hard to place on the sweetness scale. I did not expect a dessert wine, but it’s definitely sweet. Sadly, not quite as sweet as a dessert wine would be. To me it’s tough to fit it anywhere.
As far as flavor (mid-palette I guess is the proper term), it’s fairly fruity, but there’s not much to write home about. I thought there would be more tannins based on how deep red it is, but really it’s a pretty simple wine. You can swish it as much as you want, and you’re not gonna get that much out of it. It doesn’t taste bad, it’s just not as exciting as I thought it would be based on the smell.
The finish, or as us hicks call it, “aftertaste” isn’t really great. My first thought was to describe it as though the wine was crapping in my mouth on the way down. The only lingering flavor is a weird bitter taste that just won’t go away. I’m normally a big fan of lingering flavor in wine — but I wish this one would stop. Please.
So while I have no idea how I’d rate it, I can tell you it’s not worth the $17.99 I paid for the bottle. It’s not bad enough I’ll dump it out, but I won’t buy it again. I also wanted to comment on the screw top. First off, I’m not a zealot. I have no problem with screw tops, rubber corks, or cork corks. I’ve had crappy varieties of all 3. In fact, some of the worst wine I’ve had has been under an actual cork. I’m fine with screw tops, I really am. The only thing I miss with them is the uncorking process, which I actually rather enjoy.
So there ya go. Layer Cake… Not so great actually, but better than no wine at all. If semi-sweet wine is your thing however, you might actually like this wine. If you find it on sale, pick some up.