California Mendocino County 14.5% alcohol from WineQ
The Wooden Guys like this wine. They like it a lot.
The nose on this wine has a distinct vegetal smell plus dark fruit. I was having some trouble putting my finger on exactly what so I went to the jellies and figured it out. Sure, there is some blackberry and maybe some dark cherry, but this time there was also something else. Elderberry. Yup, elderberry. I have a jar of Trappist Preserves just for this purpose. It is a richer earthier smell than most preserves or jellies. Interesting. It was also rather hot, not a big surprise at 14.5% alcohol.
Oh man is that complex. This is going to take a few minutes. I can tell you to start with that it ran from attack through midpalate to finish and hit about 8 distinctly different points in just a few second. Give me some time to work through this one. First, crisp french toast with elderberry preserves. The fruit is very earthy and sweet, very rich, and there is a crisp fried bread taste, too. This is a very rich full-bodied wine, but not a fruit bomb. The depth and earthiness of the fruit keeps it from being overpowering. Blackcurrant comes out on the midpalate along with vanilla and brown sugar. Mouth feel is quite good, matching the richness of the fruit. Tannins are powder-fine but significant. They do not overpower, but dry enough to leave a sense of leather along with a long sweet finish.
This could really be terrific on Night Two. Or it could fall apart completely. Let's see, okay?
The elderberry is still there on the nose. In fact, it is more obvious because the nose is more fruity, jammy, than on Night One. Blackcurrants are there, too, but only secondary to the elderberry.
The palate is still very complex, even more than on Night One. Elderberry, blackcurrant, plus sour cherries are the fruit, but that is not all. Add a brown sugar crust on crispy french toast, with all that fruit as a jammy compote on top, and you get the midpalate if you sprinkle it with nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish is sweet and leathery, tannins far smoother than on Night One. It is long, too. Mouth feel is full bodied.
This is good, very good. I think it will get even better with some cellar time.
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