76% Carignane, 24% Zinfandel; 15.5% ABV
Alexander Valley, CA, $6 at the Oakland, CA, store on 16 March. I believe I was told this was only at the Oakland store. Unfortunately, likely gone by now.
I read about this wine in comments here long before I saw it at the Oakland store. Seedboy commented, “The label says it is unfined and unfiltered, and the bottle does have something of a robe to show for it. Real cork whose very end is very dark but the rest is pristine. When I first tasted this I was overwhelmed with wood. It eventually rounds into a very thick red wine that shows its 15.5% alcohol. Might be a good summer barbeque wine.” I pretty much agree with this, although I think I liked it better than he did.
At first, I found this wine overly simple cherry / raspberry with a bitter, woody finish. I thought it needed about 2.5 – 3 hours in a decanter to show more depth. Then, it presented slightly rough darker blackberry, raisin, black and red cherries and raspberries, licorice, and earthy aged complexity, still with that same bitter tarry / woody component, especially on the drying, tannic finish. The texture is rich and full-bodied.
The next day, the saved half bottle (stoppered at first opening in a 375ml bottle with very little air) was smoother and better integrated, but otherwise much the same. While I agree this robust California wine would go well with BBQ, I think it’s more than just a BBQ wine.