Napa Valley, CA; 15.2% ABV
$15 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 18 Nov
initial retail price was $45, but it’s now $38 on Nenow web site. Hmm… well, it was listed just a week ago. Now the 2008 is listed for $45.
I picked this up because it was highly recommended by the wine steward, because recent higher-priced GO offerings have been worth it, and because of the nice heavy bottle with a deep punt. However, I’m quite ambivalent about this wine.
At first opening, it pours quite dark, full-bodied, and softly textured, with delicious flavors of blackberry, mulberry, dark purple cherry, tinges of licorice and violets / dark roses, and a tarry or charred element. It’s very ripely fruity, but not quite jammy. With an hour or so of air, more red cherry comes out, and a little more acid of cherry and strawberry, but the basic nature of the wine doesn’t change much. To my taste, the charred wood is a bit strong and at times has an element of charred rubber. The saved single-glass bottle was much the same as it was on the first night.
While I expect this wine will be very popular — if you want to impress guests with a nice wine you will probably like, too, this is a good choice — its soft, fruity, unstructured style is really not my thing. There are a number of $8 bottles currently available that I would probably prefer, such as the Pellegrini and Sawkar Merlots and Clearwater Creek Meritage. It does, however, appear to be quite substantial. Maybe after several more years of age, it would become more delineated and flavored more like wine, less like candy. I’ll go with my personal preferences and call it Drinkable for this price, but this could easily be someone else’s big Thumbs Up.
The 2006 Nenow Cabernet is also available for the same price. The wine steward told it has some Merlot in it, whereas this wine is all Cabernet Sauvignon. Actually, this wine reminds more of Petit Verdot.