Paso Robles, CA; 13.5% ABV
$6 at the Oakland, CA, store on 13 Feb
I got this a couple weeks ago, so I don’t know if it’s still around anywhere. I’m pretty sure it’s no longer at the Oakland store. Robaire said his stock had just been cleaned out. I got this bottle just because it happened to be on the very top shelf away from the rest of it.
On the first night, I poured out a single-glass screw-cap bottle, decanted the rest, and then ran out of the house, returning nearly an hour later. I needn’t have worried about its getting too aired in the meanwhile. The wine was rather tart and not showing that much fruit. It got better as the evening went on, but it still seemed not fully opened, staying on the tart and rough side. In this time, it showed flavors of red and lighter purple plum, darker red cherries, and some cherry pit / supporting wood. I thought it was at best Drinkable. However, the last bit that had been in the decanter about 3.5 hours seemed to have finally softened, darkened and integrated a bit, so the saved small bottle might be better.
The saved half bottle is indeed surprisingly smooth, sweet, and integrated. The fruit has darkened some and become slightly candy-like, but not in a really bad way. The fruit – acid balance is pretty nice, with engagingly tangy flavors. I’m still not all that wild about it, but it definitely moves up to a solid Drinkable. You might want to put it in a covered decanter for day before drinking it.