“hillside-grown Bordeaux-style varieties” from Sonoma County, CA; 13.9% ABV
$5 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 5 June
This looked like a promising GO find. It appeared to be a small, quirky bottling, with some attention paid to quality, for a pretty low price. I wound up thinking this is a reasonable value, but it took some time to get there.
On first pour, it seemed rather tart and reserved, but promising darker and more concentrated fruit as it aired. However, on the first night, it never delivered, still seeming to have more to give but never obliging.
The saved single-glass screw-cap bottle seemed at first to be much the same. However, with about 45 minutes more air in the glass, it had developed into a pretty nice wine for the price, showing ripe fruit flavors of earthy plum and dark cherry. The acid was no longer too sharp, but nicely balancing. It never became anything stellar, but nonetheless a nice wine for the price. Probably it’s something you should put in a covered decanter for a day before you drink it.
Following inthewinecountry’s advice about evaluating reserved wines, I left some in the small bottle with plenty of air above it and replaced the screw cap. The next day, I this little bit was simpler and more acid than it had been the previous day, although not bad. So, I guess if you’re willing to decant this the day before or otherwise deal with its challenges, this could be pretty good, but otherwise it’s just Drinkable.