We went to a trade show recently and were very impressed with the wines from Oak Ridge Winery in Lodi, California. Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel is especially first-rate and the Oak Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon and Ancient Vine Zinfandel are very good value wines at about $14 retail. At our local wine store, the Oak Ridge label is a customer favorite. We inquired about the other Oak Ridge products such as Moss Roxx and OZV and found that they only carried one other called Gnarled Vine Cabernet Sauvignon. The label reads “Produced and bottled by Gnarled Vine Vineyards” so it isn’t apparent that this wine is from Oak Ridge, however the Oak Ridge Winery website does lay claim to it.
Given that Oak Ridge’s other products are so good, we are left scratching our heads on this one. We notice trouble right away with watery edges around the pour. The color is bright and the nose presents aromas of cherry and herbs. The experience on the palate aligns with the watery edge. The mouth feel is thin and the flavor is watered down. The taste balance is askew with tartness and leaves us unable to salvage our taste buds for the finish.
We leave this bottle behind and open the Oak Ridge label for comparison. There are no watery edges or insipidness present. Friday night wine time has been saved! Our conclusion is that the Gnarled Vine label must be the red-headed step-child of the Oak Ridge Winery.