The Scott McLeod 2013 by The Pilot Hill Gang is a deep red, with the barest trace of magenta tinged edges. It’s deep, dark center is impervious to light and only at the very edge does it lighten enough to see through.
To my amateur nose this blend smells like a bouquet of berries. Raspberries mostly, a little bit of blackberry tossed in for good measure. I even catch a whiff of mulberries hidden deep in the smell. It’s wonderfully inviting with an underlying earthy scent that reminds you of home. It smells delicious, like Grandma’s table at thanksgiving.
This wine is made in El Dorado County California and is distributed by Naked Wines to their “Angels”. (Naked wines is actually really cool when it comes to mail order wine, but more on that later.) This particular bottle is 63% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Merlot, it’s also 14.5% alcohol by volume. The label states that it’s made with grapes grown, “from our vineyard perched on the steep volcanic slopes near Pilot Hill. It is an extreme site; with long sunny days, cold nights and rocky red soils, just the way The Pilot Hill Gang likes it.” I’m not sure what “extreme” grapes taste like, but I guess something like what’s swirling in this glass.
The initial sip is sweet and easy and so long as the wine rests on my tongue it stays that way. A tribute to it’s Cabernet Sauvignon majority. As I swallow though I notice the slight dryness in the back of my throat, the Merlot has come to party.
Mmm… that was tasty I think I’ll have another
The top left is the bottle. Middle is the cork. Top right is a close up of the label.
Bottom left is the pour. Middle we have a perfect shot of the deep red color. Bottom right you can see the lightening around the edges.
The second sip I notice a tang to the first splash against my tongue. I’m not a sommelier, so I can’t tell you why or what that’s from but it isn’t unpleasant. I don’t think most would even notice unless they were trying to listen to their taste buds as closely as I am. It’s a delightful sip, so sweet and full, like I’m drinking wine with something to it. The after taste is arid like my taste buds have taken a trip to somewhere very West Texas-y.
My third, and final (that you know of), sip confirms my two earlier reports. Tangy and sweet, followed by arid and dry. A wonderful transition that I thoroughly enjoy.
I would say this particular bottle is not for your novice wine drinker, although it is a useful one for those testing the red wine waters. I pared it with a wonderful Whisky Aged White Cheddar and it is a beautiful combination. I give it a 7/10, I wouldn’t mind drinking it again and I can see its merits when paired correctly. But my tastes are slightly different than its flavors, but that isn’t to say that one of you wouldn’t fall in deep passionate wine love.