Jepson Vineyards Mendocino California Alc. 14.5% from the California Wine Club approx. $10 Red Rhone blend
The Little Wooden guy appreciates a good QPR as much as the next guy. Is this great? No. Is it far better than most $10 bottles? Abso-friggin-lutely.
At first this was disappointing. The nose was sour and boring. However, after about 20 minutes it started to really come around. The nose was mostly red- cherries, strawberries, and cranberry juice. There were also some blueberries, cedar, and a distinct (and very pleasant) lingering after-scent of roses.
Cranberries were more obvious on the palate, with cherries and blueberries. The same rose and cedar were there, too. Tannins were soft, acid mild. Mouth feel was a bit thin and there wasn't much of a mid-palate. The finish was short, too. Basically, this was a good up-front quaffer that fell off quickly- about what you would expect at this price point. What makes it better, though, is the lovely combination of scents and flavors on the initial attack. Those distinguish this wine from most other similarly priced California blends.
I did not take detailed notes on Night Two. There was no reason to. Simply stated, this fell down on Night Two. It was just, well, boring.
Conclusion? This is a competent reasonably-priced effort that will neither rock your world nor offend your senses.
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