Dark ruby with burgundy edges.  Fairly impenetrable and considerable sed.  Huge huge funk blows off somewhat but never really goes away, but instead integrates with the wine–in very un-California fashion–throughout the entire tasting spectrum and remains firm and lovely hours after opening.  It causes me to be quite shocked at the mere “3% Grenache”.  Decanted hard.  Big big tarry funk with creamy chicken-broth, licorice and black cherry extract.  The cassis-bite is so inviting on this one.  Blisteringly tannic on the tongue so initially you can’t help but feel the fruit is fading.  Fruit is there, but you honestly have to search for it a bit and it thins considerably toward the finish.  And all through:  That wonderful funk and briar.  An outstanding collaboration between Mondavi and Byron made by Jonathon Nagy and I am sad this label doesn’t exist anymore.  An outstanding wine, just showing some aged unbalances and the 14-8 probably has a lot to do with it.  ♦♦

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