from the Chilean outpost of southern French producer LaRoche
Maipo Valley, Chile; 14.5% ABV
imported by Wilson Daniels
$6 at the Richmond, CA, store on 3 July
I’ve reviewed a couple decent whites and an outstanding rosé from LaRoche in southern France. Also, one of my favorite Chilean reds was from the Chilean project of another French producer. And, finally, it was imported by Wilson Daniels, whose wines have usually been pretty good values at the GO. So, for me this was an instant grab. However, I was not so thrilled by this wine.
When I opened the bottle, I first poured out a single-glass (750ml / 4) screw cap bottle and twisted the cap on with very little air. Even over the roughly four hours over which we drank the remaining 3/4 bottle, I couldn’t tell it had fully aired. After 2 to 3 hours, it showed pretty nice flavors of “grilled blackberry,” darker plum / mulberry, red cherry, and dark cooked green bell pepper / maybe sulfur, but the wine still felt rather restrained and rather rough, especially on the finish. I had hoped the rest would be better.
However, the saved single-glass bottle was not particularly different or better. The flavors were a bit fuller, but the abrasiveness I disliked on the first night was still there in force. Maybe this would age into a graceful wine, but I’m not optimistic.