I Had A Classmate Who Ate Apple-Cores

This is going to deviate from the typical style of my wine-notes in that it involves a winery-visit where nothing was purchased to bring home to further dissect.  There just simply was not anything worth buying.  I stopped keeping notes after the second or third wine was so horrible getting it past your nose and onto your lips became a near impossibility.  A recent trip through Santa Maria Valley wine country brought me face-to-face with this brand–one which I had heard, read and seen much of.  A name you see around and constantly popping up at events.  My tasting countenance went from bemused to abhorrent as I moved through the full line-up of reds being poured.  Seven or eight total.  Fat and acid-lacking, with many showing glaring, unmistakable signs of severe oxidation in both colour and smell.  The flabbiness and overt alcohol–often combined with compost-heap nuances–made tasting a chore.  There honestly were several I just could not bring myself to taste.  Two or three left me with the impression some sort of tragedy in winery cleanliness had occurred.  The barrels had spilled and the contents mopped up for salvage.  Something of that nature.  Fruit flies, perhaps.  Un-rinsed hoses.  Empty barrels.  Open fermenters.  I have tasted wines in sheds in the Dry Creek Valley in the 80’s, I have tasted in people’s houses in Valle De Guadalupe recently, and have several friends who make shockingly horrid home-wine:  I have witnessed these situations and the wines before you today do an outstanding job refreshing those memories.  Whatever style this producer is going for, I feel sorry for his fan-club, as they are being poured some severe mis-information concerning *What Constitutes Good Wine*.  All labels were tasted, Core, Elevation, Kuyam and Turchi.  There was a variety of current releases and older items on significant discount.  I can see why.  They ran the gamut from unpleasantly gamey through varietally incorrect through absolute prune-juice and on into battery-acid structure.  I did not taste white.  Hopefully they are the house speciality.  Without a single exception, a highly unrecommended  ◊

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