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What’s Up with Wilfred Wong?

craftworkOn short notice, I needed a wine to take to a party—not too expensive, familiar enough to please a diversity of guests but something I wouldn’t mind drinking as well. So I made a quick stop at BevMo, where I’ve occasionally found good deals at their 5-cent sale.

The pinot shelf contained lots of familiar brands but I wanted something new. I spotted a wine I had never heard of—this Craftwork from Monterrey to which Wilfred Wong  gave 92 points. $30 is a little more than I wanted to spend but on the 5-cent sale the second bottle is virtually free so if the wine is good I get to enjoy an extra bottle.

Now, Mr. Wong works for BevMO—he’s responsible for the shelf-talkers that describe and rate the wines BevMo is trying to sell. That is not a recipe for objectivity and I’ve found some (but not all) of his ratings to be unreliable in the past. But 92 points is a good score for a wine that will cost me $15.

I usually don’t rely on point scores but I was in a hurry so I rolled the dice and bought two bottles. Curious, when I got home I “googled” the Craftwork website. Yup, they exist but give absolutely zero information about the wine or their winery. Hmmm. It looks like someone got a deal on some surplus juice and slapped a label on it.

So what was in the bottle?

Some cranberry and black tea on the nose with hints of black cherry—it’s pretty enough but not very complex and not exactly bursting with intensity. On the palate the wine is plump, a bit oily, soft, and lifeless indicating a lack of acidity.  The finish is short and tart with vanishing tannins so the acidity is there but it isn’t integrated. The whole thing is flabby and disjoint. Drinkable but not exactly craftwork, not worth $30, and the 92 points is a joke. I’ve had better Pinot Noir for under $15.

So what’s up with Wilfred Wong? Do his scores represent an honest analysis of the wine or do they reflect what BevMo wants to sell? I have no idea but I won’t be depending on his reviews in the future.

Score: 85

Alcohol: 13.9%

Price: $30

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