Piledriver 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

Paso Robles, CA; 13.8% ABV
$7 at the Richmond, CA, store on 20 April

Piledriver_2013_CabSI got this bottle because I had shown it to a regular customer who was looking for “barbeque wine,” even though I hadn’t tasted it.  From the macho front label, I had expected this wine to be over-the-top ripe, jammy fruit.  He got a couple bottles, so I figured that, as a responsible salesperson, I should try it.  It’s not what I expected it to be, but it’s actually something I like better.

On the first night, I was mostly disappointed.  The fruit seemed pretty thin, simple, and acid, and dominated by stemmy bitterness.  After the bottle had been open a couple hours, the fruit had come out — tasting of ripe, Paso Robles Cabernet (purple cherry, cassis, red cherry) — but it was still separate from, and IMO marred by, the same stemmy bitterness.

The next day, however (and this time, I just put the cork back in the top of the bottle), the stemmy bitterness had opened up and integrated with the fruit, becoming a pretty tasty wine.  After a little air in the glass, it showed medium and dark red cherry fruit, red currant acid, some of the purple cherry / cassis, and a little black pepper.  Probably, to get the most out of this wine, you should age it for a year or two, but it’s pretty good now.

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