This is such a bright ruby red it sparkles and dances with the light.
Big black cherry, nutmeg and cinammon blast out of the glass straight into the nose, followed by cranberry and orange peel. This is fantastic, like fresh-made cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. Now sprinkle some unsweetened cocoa over the top, as the nose makes its third big change.
Bummer. The palate doesn't meet the promises made by the nose. It is good, even great for a $12 wine (some people on Cellar Tracker got it as cheaply as $8), but it is then and far more one-dimensional than the nose. Blackberries and raspberries are followed by leather and tar. The finish is medium-length, tannic and tart (have you ever had wild strawberries? Like that).
Will the palate meet the nose's promise tomorrow? Or will the nose flatten down to the palate? Stay tuned, and we will find out together.
Are you back? Welcome back.
Pinecones and pepper, blackcurrant and raspberry, followed by last night's cinammon and orange peel. This nose is still terrific. Let us see if the palate is any better.
Definite blackberry and blackcurrant, cigar box and leather up front. Now, though, there is a distinct petroleum chemical taste and some menthol.
Another hour and a bit warmer (it sent the night in the cellar) and the chemical smell is gone but the menthol stuck around. Black fruit and cigar box remained, plus some plums and spice on the midpalate.
The verdict? This is a very good wine for the money, but quite young. Will it ever be great? I don't think so. Will it get better and be good for quite a while? Yes, I think so, and at a price from $8-$12, it is certainly worth putting up a few bottles based just on its early promise.
Have you ever noticed how a really mediocre bottle can be much better the second night? Sometimes a wine that is "closed" opens up from exposure to air. This is a great hint that the wine is really not as bad as you thought. It just needs more time in the cellar. Alternatively, something great falls completely flat in just a day - drink all you've got, because there's not much time left. Wine starts changing rapidly the moment you open it. So here, at "Two Days per Bottle Wine Tasting," I am going to follow wine from the moment I open it through a second night. Call it an experiment. Join me to see if it really tells us anything useful at all.
My wine review policy
There has been much ado in the blogosphere lately about "the ethics of wine blogging," particularly in the area of wine reviews. Should bloggers review every wine they are sent? Should they do so under a time limit? Some suggest we hew perfectly to the code of journalistic ethics, which forbid both promises. In my personal opinion, that is putting form before substance. Putting the form of the rule- don't promise reviews, ahead of the substance- do what is ethically best, creates a real perversion of the problem. First, and I am being completely honest here, I get a little thrill whenever somebody sends me wine. Why not? Heck, I love the stuff. So what if I (a) like getting free wine, and (b) don't promise reviews. That is easy. I only review the ones I like, out of fear of scaring people off. "Hey," I might say, "this sucks, but if I write that, nobody will send me wine any more." In other words, sticking to the journalists' "code of ethics" actually creates a LARGER ethical dilemma than reviewing everything. On the other hand, promising to review at a time certain takes editorial content away, so that is a promise I refuse to make.
Do you want me to review your wine? I would love to do so. But first, know what you are asking. Take a trip around the blog. See what The Little Wooden Guy, The Big Wooden Guy, and I have to say. We are not always generous or kind. And we WILL review your wine. Honestly. Every time.
If you are still interested, send it here:
David Honig 1 American Square, Suite 2000 Indianapolis, IN 46282