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Review: Wines of Chronic Cellars, 2019 Releases

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Chronic Cellars is a hipster-friendly wine brand out of Paso Robles, California. With tongue-in-cheek brand names and eye-catching graphics (and, of course, it’s called “Chronic”), Chronic doesn’t immediately come across as a “serious” wine label. Turns out that’s not the case, as Chronic has a few impressive (and affordable) gems under its wings. That said, quality is all over the map. We tried a bunch of them: 4 bottles and 2 new canned wines. Thoughts on all six follow.

Let’s start with the bottles…

2018 Chronic Cellars Pink Pedals Paso Robles – Rose of 88% grenache, 12% syrah. Ultra-fruity, this is a strawberry bomb up front, only one that’s sweetened by Pixy Stix and informed by a dusting of powdered breath mints. The finish evokes cotton candy and cheap Mexican suckers. Overwhelming with sugar. Not loving it. D+ / $15

2017 Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Paso Robles – 74% zinfandel, 16% petite sirah, 8% tempranillo, 2% alicante bouchet. Bold and aggressive, this is a big zin-heavy wine, gummy on the palate at times, loaded with flavors of dried plums, chocolate, and a savory layer of roasted vegetables. Notes of licorice and more dark chocolate linger on the finish. Surprisingly approachable and enjoyable, particularly with food. A- / $23

2017 Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise – 78% zinfandel, 9% petite sirah, 7% syrah, 6% grenache. Compare to Dead Nuts — it’s a wildly different wine. Austere and meaty, there’s a current of green beans and beef jerky on the nose, with notes of dried plums, balsamic, black pepper, and green pepper on the palate. rather off-putting. C- / $13

2017 Chronic Cellars Sofa King Bueno Paso Robles – 53% syrah, 21% grenache, 12% petite sirah, 8% tannat, 7% mourvedre. Rich and soulful, this wine offers notes of chocolate sauce and blackberries, with silky tannins weaved throughout. The slightly bitter finish conceals notes of slightly sweetened ground coffee, a curious — yet appropriate — way to end things. Great value. A- / $20

And now for the cans…

NV Chronic Cellars Sparkling Wine California – Mystery bubbles, it tastes heavily of apples and pears. Sharply alcohol-forward, with a grassy, hay-like character on a finish that lands like a thud. C- / $6 per 375ml can

NV Chronic Cellars Rose California – More rando Cali-wine, though this is considerably less sweet than expected, a quite dry experience that leans more on gentle florals than berry flavors. It’s a surprisingly simplistic offering in the end, one that is simply without much of a voice, though if I had to drink wine out of a can, this wouldn’t kill me. B- / $6 per 375ml can

chroniccellars.com

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2017 Chronic Cellars Sofa King Bueno Paso Robles

$20
9

Rating

9.0/10
Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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