Napa Valley, CA; 14.7%
$8 at the Richmond, CA, store on 7 Aug
Like a number of wines recently, this one had intrigued me for a while because its 2011 bottling was well-liked, and 2009 was supposedly a better year. I just now got around to it, but that is indeed the case: this wine is terrific.
This wine does not show much at first pour, just some lighter red raspberry fruit and the promise of some aged complexity. IMO, giving this wine 1.5 – 2+ hours in a decanter is amply rewarded. When fully aired, it shows ripe, dark, flavors of black raspberry, black cherry, a little blackberry, zingy red raspberry acid, vanillin-y American oak, in a smooth, polished, full body, black pepper in the finish. While it’s very good, now, it could possibly improve for a couple years more.
A few days later, the saved, single-glass, screw-cap bottle was softer, redder, and showing more caramelly aged complexity. It did not seem to develop darker like the bottle did initially. While tasty, it convinced me that although the wine could probably hold on for that couple more years, it likely will not really improve. Give it air, but enjoy it soon.