EYE-CATCHING labels are one way to make bottles stand out on busy store shelves. The latest one from global wine company Treasury Wine Estates is Run Riot, but don’t worry. The name does not suggest you take to the streets. It’s a reference to the havoc wild boars can cause when they run riot in vineyards: breaking fences, rooting in the dirt, eating the grapes. And when I look at the packaging, I see they must also nibble on neck capsules and smash the brand name. The grapes for Run Riot Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are from the Central Coast appellation where wild boars do roam. The Central Coast is California’s largest wine appellation stretching from Santa Barbara to San Francisco, where Chardonnay accounts for more than half of the grapes grown. The label for Run Riot speaks for itself: It’s meant to lure millennial drinkers on the prowl for discovery wines. But gimmicky or not, I can tell you the wines will get your attention once you give them a taste. They are balanced and well-made. And the price is right.
Note: This brand is brand new — prices listed below are full markup. Beware of wild boars.
Run Riot Chardonnay Central Coast 2015, $16.99: I like this Chardonnay. It’s different. Aromas are intense: white floral notes and tangy tangerine with a blast of juicy Granny Smith apple and pear, and a kiss of brown spice from oak. In the mouth, it’s dry with firm acidity and a ton of dry tropical fruit that plants itself on the palate and persists through the finish.
Run Riot Pinot Noir Central Coast 2014, $19.99: Aromas of dark cherry, spice and smoked bacon proceed to flavors of cherry, dark plum, pomegranate and savory meat. It has a sweet note, like fatty bacon. Bright acidity and soft, round tannins complete the picture. It has terrific Pinot Noir character and good balance.
You can reach Sandra Silfven at firstname.lastname@example.org.