Monterey County, CA; 13.5% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 15 June
A customer said that this wine was likely being cleared out because the Chateau Julien winery had been sold and the old stuff was being cleared out. (This is apparently true.) So I thought this might be a good deal, and indeed, I think it’s quite good for the price. The only drawback is that the wine is a bit young still.
With my first bottle, I thought it was okay after a couple hours’ air, but just showing light red cherry fruit with hints of more buried underneath. The second half was better, but still not showing that much.
So I got a second bottle. On the first night, I just opened it, poured out a little, and stopped the cork back in. The next day, after a little more air, the wine was quite tasty: red cherry / raspberry, slight amount of cheap oak but not too bad, some blackcurrant / blackberry, slight savory quality (wood, caramel / prune, bacon?), tart red raspberry acid. It’s not the most powerful wine, but nicely flavored and elegant for $5. It should easily hold on, and almost certainly improve, for a few more years. Highly drinkable.