"Clary Ranch, how can I help you!" "Hello! Can we get a few tons of syrah grapes?" "Sorry, mister. All out of syrah. How about some nice, juicy olives?" "Olives?" "You bet. Finest olives this side of the Mediterranean." "Thanks, but we were kind of looking to make some wine...." "Wine, you say! Well, that's just perfect! These'll make the greatest olive wine you've ever tasted! I guarantee it!" "Olive wine? Is there such a thing?" "Sure! Why not? You gotcher grape wine, rice wine, dandelion wine, why not olive wine? Mister, when you've got olives as tasty and juicy as these, there's nothing you can't do with 'em!" "I dunno.... Are you sure you're all out of syrah?" "Son, I'll tell you what. I've got one last bowl of syrah grapes in the back. I was gonna have 'em myself for lunch, but if you wanna take three barrels of olives off my hands, I'll throw in them there grapes for free. And if that doesn't make the finest olive wine or syrah or whatever it is you wanna call it, then my name isn't Oliver McOliveson!"
12.2% abv. Medium dark ruby. Expressive, very herbal aromas. On the palate, this wine is lean and edgy featuring leather, smoke, herbs and blue-black fruit. Nicely balanced, good depth and medium long aftertaste. This wine is a dead ringer for a Northern Rhone (Hermitage)? Very enjoyable. Led by winemakers like Arnot-Roberts, California is demonstrating it can compete and compete well with the best of France in lighter, lower alcohol wines. I have one bottle left, which I'll probably hang on to for a few years.
As predicted earlier this year, I couldn't resist opening a second bottle of this. Such a satisfying glass of wine at just 12.2% alcohol. Would be difficult to discern from a Rhone wine blind, but with an intriguing hint of new world sunshine. Tasted alongside an '04 Donjon CdP and the markings were so similar it was striking. This was much lighter but still - very similar flavor profiles. Great stuff.
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