Marlborough, New Zealand; 13.5% ABV
$7 at the Richmond, CA, store on 6 Oct
On the first night open, this wine was immediately appealing. It had nice dark cherry and plum with other complexities, but was sort of hard and elegant in a way that promised more after airing. However, it didn’t really turn out that way. It went through a number of phases, showing fruits (not necessarily in this order) from lighter red (cranberry, fresh rhubarb?) to blue (blueberry / cassis, akin to how I remember Marsannay) to medium purple. All were reasonably tasty, but the wine did not settle into any of them, still giving the impression of never really opening.
The second half, stored in a 375ml bottle and stoppered with little air, still needed a good bit of airing after opening to show what it had, appearing for a while to simply be thin and tart. It was a little more forward and accessible, with flavors ranging from dark red cherry, rusty earth, purple plum and grape, dark blueberry / maybe blackberry, and allspice. It still gives the impression of not showing all it has, and with it’s hard structure and tart acid, it should be much better after at least a few years of age. If I find it again, I’ll get a little more to lay down for a while. For immediate drinking, you may want to get something else, although it’s possible the wine is still shocked from transport, and it may be more accessible after a few weeks in the store or at home.