46% Mourvédre, 36% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 3% Counoise; 14.2% ABV
El Dorado AVA, California
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store on 9 October
While I would normally jump on a Californian Rhone-style blend like this, the wine through the bottle, although it had a nice darker red / orange color, looked rather translucent. Still, color saturation is not everything, and I had liked the Girard Roussanne, so decided to try this one, too.
The wine starts with dark red cherries — in a range from tart red — to ripe red — to dried — with the characteristic Sierra Foothills rich, brown earthiness / red brick. It’s fairly simple, and with some of the cheap oak flavor I dislike. I thought it finally integrated nicely after about 2:15 of air, and it continued to darken nicely to black raspberry and cherry later in the evening. However, I really wish they hadn’t used the liquid oak extract or wood chips in a bag or whatever, because it totally obscures what seemed to be a nice, subtle blend of Rhone-style Sierra Foothills flavors.
The saved, single-glass, screwcap bottle was unfortunately even worse. It was quite sulfurous right away, and remained rather roughly sulfurous for the hour or two over which I consumed it. Even at $4, I think I have to go with Thumbs Down.