Opici Wine & Spirits is a New Jersey-based importer that has set its sights on the world of wine. The two new bottles under “The Critic” label — which seem to be daring the likes of us to take a stab at it — are both sourced from Napa Valley fruit but land at $20 a bottle or less.
And here’s why.
2020 The Critic Chardonnay Napa Valley – Overblown with oak on the nose, this is Napa chardonnay at its most blunt and basic. Lots of slightly bitter lemon peel pairs awkwardly with a huge slug of candylike vanilla, with an overload of toasted wood clinging to the finish. I get the feeling the winemakers wanted this to come across like a light lemon meringue pie, but the mark seems to have been missed pretty widely. C- / $20
2020 The Critic Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – 90% cabernet sauvignon and 10% merlot. Also rather blunt: Extremely jammy with an artificial-tasting vanilla and dull oak quality to it. A punchy note of raspberry jam — heavy on the sugar — leads to a gummy, mouth-coating finish. Rough and inauthentic. D+ / $20