What are the FIVE Bordeaux varieties? Remember I asked this about 6 months ago and said there would be a quiz? This is the quiz. I have this fantasy where almost all of my readers know them instantly. No? Come on. You can do it. Cab. Merlot. … keep going…. you can do it! Cab franc? Malbec? … and? Don’t disappoint me. Petit Verdot? Ok, and for the uber-wine-dork amongst you, there is another very obscure varietal allowed in BDX but due to phylloxera and a whole bunch of wine-dork stuff you can easily Wiki, has faded off labels and this is the first California BDX-blend I have seen in a while with it included. So next time your winesnob friend asks you what the five Bordelais grapes allowed are, tell him there SIX! And either he will protest and you will know he is a farce–or he will worship you. Carménère. Anyway… this wine:
Deep opaque ruby with pink edges. Fat, explosive nose right off the bat overwhelms you with rich blackberry, sharp green briar, sweat, oak and substantial alcohol. Really tight in the mouth. Mild fruit fades to nothingness almost instantly and is over-come with blistering tannins. Decided to decant–worried the fragile fruit might fall apart, but hoping for the best. An hour in it def shows better. Still overweight and alcoholic, but at least the fruit lingers a tad longer on the taste. Still thins out considerably in the finish–and all you are left with is glycerol and pepper. A very meager middle and finish–well, not the tannin! Mind-numbing tannins. Shockingly impressive tannins. Almost *fabricated* tannins. Tannins you gnaw at. Tannins your whole mouth work feverishly to rid themselves of. I would love to taste this in ten years. I am a bit concerned about the fruit. The fruit is fat and shallow and lacking in anything seriously ‘briary’ or ‘earthy’ or ‘spicy’ which would polish against–and stand up to–the backbone in an aging situation. And the alcohol is concerning–even though *only* 14-1. This is a nice wine. One of the better Paso cabs I have had, and the style will please MANY people. Just not something I find all that enjoyable to drink.
Repeat after me: Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot. That’s it. Classic Bordeaux varieties. And for the extra-obscure nerd point: Carménère. I’m going to ask this again. While other bloggers are explaining how Bev-Mo makes money on the 5₵ Sale, we are learning real stuff over here. Cab, Merlot, CabFranc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
2011 GREY WOLF Meritage Cab/Bec/ME/PV/CF/Carm 75/10/5/5/2.5/2.5 Paso Robles 14.1