Popped and poured. This was one of those bottles that has me scratching my head a little bit. Cork pulled perfectly and there were no signs of mishandling. Upon opening, it seemed a little tired...almost as if the higher alcohol had overwhelmed the fruit over time. The color was deep, dark garnet without any indication of deterioration...it was just not very lively. Then an interesting thing began to happen as time went on; the ponderous, unexciting character that I noticed at the beginning was being replaced by some of the characteristics that I generally associate with Spanish red wines: nearly equal parts dark fruit, earth, leather, and spice box. By my last sip, it was a much better drink. Had I been able to take my time, I would have saved half the bottle for the next day. Unfortunately, I had to get on a plane at 6am so that was out of the question. One more bottle left; we'll see what happens next time.
Retail ~$80? This was an intriguing wine and not just because of its blend (Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah). I bought it from Last Bottle, one of my favorite online retailers, who claimed it is a $80 wine at retail. Cellar Tracker, however, suggests this wine sells for considerably less (about $25). Who knows what to believe? I do know that the wine comes in a BAB (a Big A*s Bottle) which to me is complete idiocy—it does nothing for the wine and only serves to add cost (both for the glass and for subsequent shipping costs). The wine? Quite dark in the glass, with strawberry and vanilla on the nose. The palate was quite nice with juicy fruit and balance. Long finish. Excellent to Outstanding. 90-92 points.
90 with great hesitance, because I am reluctant to call this wine "outstanding". But there's a lot to like about it, and some to dislike.
Day 1, nice dark crimson color. Nose started out like bordeaux, then got new world with vanilla and blueberry. Lots of acid. Initially lots of new world fruit and alcohol with some minor secondary characteristics of earth and dust. The alcohol was strong and annoying on the finish.
Day 2, different but not better/worse. Less fruit, more nuance, menthol, kind of abrasive, kind of intriguing. Gritty tannins still present. The bitter alcohol finish is a serious detractor from would could be a great wine.
Day 5 (skipped 3 and 4, sorry I have a life) was way better. Not much tannin left. Some medium level funk, still a little fruit and dominated by secondary bordeaux flavors. Cigar box, cedar, a little pine. Best on day 5. This was a strange bottle, but I'd buy more at $17 each any day.
3-4 hours in decanter. Deep dark ruby red in the glass. Nose has cherries and raspberries swirling under some animal funk, tarry asphalt, dusty soil and spice. On the palate there is strong tannin with a richness that provides balance. The wine is not subtle, yet presents some Bordeaux-ish qualities of dust and stone. These elements provide interest amid some stiff and strong tendencies. PJG: 90
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