The wine was Terra Cotta 2001 Merlot, product of Italy.
So now I know where merlot-gone-really-bad ends it's life: at the DOLLAR STORE. I haven't been able to find this item mentioned anywhere else on the web, but Grapedonk at the WineAss vlog actually tasted it. You can skip actually watching the video, and just know that Grapedonk's verdict was:
“Rotten mineral-spirits paint-brush-smelling prune juice thing—if you see this, run!”
Anyone sensitive about off-color language and metaphor is advised to skip the vid, but if you want to really experience Grapedonk's suffering go ahead and watch.