This is really coming into fine form right now. As I last sampled this a year and a half ago, I was pleased to see that its color was still bright and clear with no oxidation noticeable at all on the rim. It was opened and let breath for about 2 hours before pouring and when I did it filled the kitchen with aromas of rhubarb and Campari with orange. As it continued to breathe the body filled out and the nondescript dried red fruit became more pronounced. So, too, did the structure, which seemed to be exposed more as time passed. This is a fabulous window into a fine Red Mountain field blend at an accessible price. It shines with class and polish, restraint and complexity in a medium-bodied package perfect for sipping or accompanying any number of foods.
I opened this cold and had a glass when I got home from work and last night. The nose was all wood and while reserved flavor-wise, the palate showed good weight and structure. Now it's about 8 hours later, the nose shows nice richness, chocolate, blackberry cobbler, and a bit of oak still showing. Really nice feel on the palate, the weight and structure alone are quite balanced and surprising for a $20 wine. Blackberry fruit shows strongest for me with a hint of blueberry, pepper and gravel. I wouldn't call the finish long, but it isn't short either, it ends with good linearity. Again, I like the weight and feel on the palate, the flavor intensity is good and the structure easy and right in line. Overall, really delicious. I am glad I purchase a few of these year-on-year, it's good wine at the price that seems to age in the short-term rather well. EDIT: Consumed over 4 days, while the nose was starting to firm up, the palate was still great even 4 days later.
Dark red, getting some brick at the edges. Pop and pour notes: Cassis among black fruits, forward in the nose. Very good nose...take some time to smell it first as the complexity is subtle; you will need to thread past some oakiness. After just five minutes it smells very good. Good fruit in the mouth still, noticeable tannins at the edges of the tongue and some in the finish. Midpalate is a good example of Washingtons State Bordeaux-style blend. This is better than last year. Lacking in mineraltiy and earthiness or loam, but since the vanilla is subdued, it seems more old world style than many US cabs. This is pretty big and chewy for a 56% merlot red. Far better than most $22 bordeaux you might find. Feel free to age this a while longer. Later Tasting Notes: after decanting/breathing an hour plus - The fruit is already fading somewhat, and the acid and tannins are a bit more forward in the balance. I suggest some beef or herbed pork as a main dish. Served with Tarragon rubbed, stuffed porkchops and sauteed portabellas with shallots - those things ampedup the herbal quotient and made a fine match. Offset the acidity perfectly, and brought good balance to the wine. I wouldn't be surprised if some people would score this one a 92, but I think it lacks some native complexity for that.
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