Locations E-4 (Spain)

Locations F-4 (France)

Locations I-4 (Italy)

(This is based on samples provided by the winery or an entity acting on their behalf)



The question is – do you break the rules, and thousands of years of history and tradition, in pursuit of expressing freedom?


You do, if you are Dave Phinney of Locations Wines.



I was recently invited to “sit in” on an online tasting and chat with Dave Phinney the winemaker for Locations Wines.  It was a lively hour learning about Dave and his vision of Locations Wines.  You can tell this is a very important project for Dave.  There were a few times when the emotions took over making the chat seem even more real.


Dave’s goal is to create the best wine possible in a country regardless of where the wines were grown.  This may sound perfectly normal but this goes against the traditions (and regulations) that have been in place, in some cases, forever.  In America, cross appellation wines are common place.  It’s not unusual for a wine to contain grapes from multiple regions.  Ever see a bottle of Zinfandel labeled as coming from California?  This means the grapes came from multiple regions in the state…perhaps Lodi, Russian River Valley, Lake County, Amador, or anywhere in the state.  Dave goes one step further, he uses grapes from anywhere in the country.  Imagine a US blend including Pinot Noir from Oregon, Merlot from Washington, Cabernet Sauvignon from California and Cabernet Franc from New York.


Much more information is available about the winery, their vision and the wines is available on their website by clicking here.  If you are interested, I highly recommend checking out the site.



Here are the wines that were included in this online tasting:




Locations E-4

This is a blend of Grenache(Garnacha), Tempranillo, Monastrell and Carignan(Cariñena) sourced mainly from vineyards in Priorat, Jumilla, Toto, Rioja and Ribera del Duero.  After fermentation, the wine was barrel aged for 10 months.


The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The exuberant nose has blackberries, well worn leather, plums, baking spices, licorice, roasted herbs and earthy underbrush.  This has full body with moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, plums, leather, spices and roasted herbs jump out on the front end with roasted herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with some underbrush providing depth.  This is a big, rich, smooth wine that is ready to go and full of flavor.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (89 pts)




Locations F-4

This wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and assorted Bordeaux varietals mainly from Rhone, Roussillon and Bordeaux.  The wine was barrel aged for 10 months prior to bottling and release.


The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The outgoing nose has blackberries, raspberries, tobacco, baking spices, dried herbs, dark chocolate and wildflowers.  This has a full body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate nice fruit and spices take control on the front end with dried herbs and tobacco coming in later.  The finish has good length with dark chocolate and a nice floral note providing plenty of depth.  This is a ripe and rich wine with enough acidity and tannins to hold everything in check.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)




Locations I-4

This wine is a blend of Negroamaro and Nero d’Avola from Puglia and Barbera from Piemonte.  Like the other Locations wine in this tasting, the wine was barrel aged for 10 months after fermentation was completed.


The wine is a deep garnet color.  The initially slightly shy but inviting nose opens up with some air revealing blackberries, black cherries, baking spices, vanilla bean, pine needles, dry underbrush and a hint of cocoa powder.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, baking spices and underbrush grab your attention on the front end with cocoa powder coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a pine note and vanilla bean providing depth.  This is much more open on the palate than the nose at this time.  A bit of time in the cellar will be rewarded.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)



Conclusion – These wines were unique and most were made for immediate enjoyment.  In the case of the Italian wine, I think it has some upside potential if cellared for a year or two.  For the purists, don’t look for the infamous terroir.  Since these grapes are from multiple regions the terroir gets blended away.  These are fairly full bodied wines with soft to moderate tannins and lower levels of acidity making them very easy to drink.  These would be a big hit at your next party or gathering.






About Balzac

BALZAC is a marketing communications agency with a no-nonsense approach to combining the strategies and tactics of marketing, public relations, advertising and graphic design to achieve the marketing goals of our clients.


The experience, creativity and determination of our staff distinguish BALZAC from our competition. We use these assets to develop and execute cost-effective campaigns which have won international communications awards.


The results speak for themselves.


The agency is located in Napa, California, and provides services to national, regional, and local companies based in Northern California and throughout the world.


For more information on Balzac, please click here.




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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.