Napa Valley, CA; 13.5% ABV
$9 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 1 July
This wine has been around for a long time by GO standards. Some people have highly recommended it, so I finally got a bottle when there was a dearth of new wines recently. While it’s not really to my taste, I guess I see what people like about it.
This wine is pretty tasty on first pour, but opens and integrates more with about 45 minutes in the glass. It has Napa Valley floor flavors of very ripe bing cherry, blackberry, redder cranberry sauce, and sweet vanilla / oak. Especially after about an hour of air, the wine became quite subtly nuanced, in very nice balance. This is all pretty good for those who like this style, but what I object to is a rather jammy character and a sort of stewed rhubarb flavor that I suspect is from American oak.
The next day, the saved single-glass screw cap bottle of this wine tasted pretty much the same, but a bit more robust and not as nuanced. Even though I didn’t like it all that much, I preferred it on the first day. Also, I liked it better after I put hot sauce in my food, when I appreciated its sweet fruitiness.
So, much like the Four Star red, I have to apologize to those who like these wines. It seems that many people like them, but they’re just not for me. After writing all this, I looked up what readers had to say about this wine. Here is a very different take from contributor PW. Anyone else?