The nose is very classic California Cabernet. Blackcurrants, plums and spice. Vanilla is evident but not overpowering. There is also a touch of tobacco and cedar. It is a very nice nose, one you can revel in for a long time before even taking the first sip.
The fruit is more red than black on the palate. Cherries and baking spice are out front, tannins are mild and very smooth. It is surprisingly acidic and bright.
It will be interesting to see how this holds up up on the second night, given the low tannin content and high acid in a Cabernet.
Funky, just funky. The nose on Night Two is green pepper and spoiled milk. Through that you can smell a little cinammon and black fruit.
On the palate, a ton of graphite and raw tobacco leaf overpower the red and black fruit. The bright acidity from Night One is gone, replaced with drying tannins. The mouth feel is thin.
No, I did not find this to be a wonderful wine. The promise of the nose on Night One was not met by the nose or the palate on Night Two.
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