The Sonoma Italians Strike AGAIN

Dark clear ruby with edges showing just a touch of garnet.  Closed-in, musky nose relegated it to the decanter.  Comes out ripe and round with distinct cellar-nuances of wet concrete and pasta roiled in butter and pepper in front of dark cherry and brier nuances.

A classic Alexander Valley.  Was completely unfamiliar, but found these in Petaluma at a price-point  I could not refuse.  Based on my experience with Pellegrini Zins and Merlot, took a risk on several at a severely reduced price.  I have not tasted a Merlot this structured in a while, although this is barely over 50% MT, with Cab making up the largest portion of the remainder and PV, Bec, and Franc filling out the small increments expected of a BDX blend.

Explosive entry of fruit, coffee and tobacco with the fruit definitely in the background.  Mouth-filling, chewy tannin almost immediately take hold and DARE you to find anything worthwhile in this wine.  Again, just a classic Alexander Valley and a poster-child for why I am the world’s biggest Alex fan.  I like my structure, OK?  Even at the expense of noticing a huge blossom of fruit early-on.  The cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla of the nose moving quickly into mind-numbing tannin and acidity with just a PEEK at the fruit definitely packed inside make this an irresistible package for me.

A true Meritage with YEARS still on it and I can promise you I will not open the remaining two for at least a half-decade.  This is a fabulous wine drinking wonderfully–for the hardcore–and will be just STUNNING for those willing to wait.  Hard to believe it is almost 10 years old presently.  Ripe and fresh and young and nuanced and oh those wonderful paint-removing tannins…  Is there enough fruit to last the polishing of all that structure?  The 14-3 DOES show a tad in the nose and middle, but nothing to be alarmed about.

2006 PELLEGRINI Milestone BDX blend ME/Cab Alexander Valley Sonoma Co. 14.3

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