Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA; 14.3% ABV
$9 at the Richmond, CA, on 26 Aug
I’m not totally sure what to make of this wine. My best guess is that, after a few years of age, it will be a pretty nice Cabernet, but right now, it’s much too young.
On the first night, I immediately poured half into a 375ml bottle and stoppered it with very little air. The other half was initially thin, red, and tart, with funky and bitter stemmy tannin. During the 2.5 hours over which I drank it, it darkened some and filled out a little, but overall didn’t change that much and was not pleasant to drink.
On the second night, aiming to give this wine as much simulated aging as I could, I poured half of the remaining 375ml bottle into a single-glass screw-cap bottle. The rest I poured in a glass and drank over a few hours. It was definitely better than the first night, filling out and showing nice blackberry / blackcurrant along with the redder fruit and some earth. However, it was still rather grape-juicy and little funky / bitter. Chewing on wine, however, seemed to show more depth and complexity hiding within the tannic finish.
The last glass from the screw-cap bottle was at first quite inharmonious. However, after a couple more hours of air, it smoothed out enough to be reasonably tasty, and encouraged my opinion that this will be pretty good with some years in proper storage. I’ll hazard a Thumbs Up on this one, with the HUGE CAVEAT that you’ll need to wait a while.