Flogging A Dead Horse

Heavily bricking medium garnet with substantial sediment.  Big opulent nose.  Milk chocolate muffins and butter-cookies, a strong alcohol and ripe Maraschino cherry headed dangerously into the toasted-almond rigamortis of old Pinot.  Thick and heady, and clearly suffering from the sins of hi-AL in an older wine.  This thing has to be North of 14-5.  I rally hate to keep harping on a dead horse, but hi-alcohol wines just Do. Not. Age.  PERIOD.  And this from one of my favorite vineyards.  Really, Bien Nacido has the structure, the stuffing, the ability, to age so amazingly–beautiful out-of-the-box and stunning with a little polish on them–this is just sad.  Spicy and mouth-filling, but the alcohol burn touches off early in the taste and is omni-present through the finish.  Considerable air subdues some of the fat propensities of this bottle and bring to the forefront the wonderful barnyard and vegetal nuances which ARE PRESENT, but the alcohol has clearly been the demise of this wine.  Nutty and round to a fault–no acid or tannin present–cloying ripeness and alcohol are about all that is left.  The lack of anything interesting left over in this bottle represent themselves as watery dark cherry and heat, although it is NOT undrinkable.  Quite enjoyable, considering, and I am sure this was a very successful early-drinker–if you’re into that whole over-blown oak-and-fruit PN-thing.  I have had the Garys’ Syrahs and Pinots from this producer and they all suffer from an attempt at over-stuffing and hi-AL.  14-6   ♦

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