Sparkling and Champagne (Amy and Scott's house): A small pour at a tasting. Heavy, sweet, lots of fruit, chocolate and raspberry/blackberry liqueur. Portish, a fair amount of alcohol. Not my favorite style, but I still enjoyed it, especially since it was the only red at this tasting.
Purchased upon release and cellared in pristine fashion, this bottle was double-decanted, allowing two hours in decanter prior to funneling back into the cleaned bottle. It was then presented to our tasting group in double-blind fashion. My taste was non-blind. The wine retains a youthful, deep ruby/red color. On the nose, it shows aromas of ripe boysenberries, tobacco, raisins and damp earth. There is additionally a component of volatile acidity which pushes the limit of tolerance. On the palate, it is full-bodied, massively extracted and packed with dark fruit; however, there is substantial alcoholic heat which becomes front-and-center even at a serving temperature of 55-60°F. Listed as 14.5%, I suspect that the true A.B.V. of this wine is substantially higher. Solid in the middle, it closes with impressive length, but this length (unfortunately) comes at the cost of enduring more heat. Even at this stage there will be fans of well-cellared bottles such as this one. To my palate, it is over-ripe and has become disjointed. Drink now-2015.
Still a young wine, complexities have emerged in the last few years that make this a delightful wine. It is what it is and it is not a French or Spanish grenache, and should not be expected to be. The sweetness it exhibits was a detractor for my wife. We drank it with a shrimp and pesto pizza with red bells and carmelized onions. It paired wonderfully.
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