Clear Lake is Not Clear

A bit of a curiosity… saw it alongside a bunch of ‘The Gypsy’ and decided to give the cab a shot first.  Dark ruby and incredibly staining with tiny clear edges.  Intensely perfumed but volatile… rife with stemmy brashness, pipe tobacco, dried saliva and red bell peppers.  Really really dense and concentrated but–no, let’s not say “but” let’s say AND, so it doesn’t sound like a bad thing–AND not packed with chocolate and oak and layers of sweet complexities.

No, this thing is not Casanova.  This thing is itching for a fight.  But a considerable alcohol note amongst all the rather abrasive deep dark garbage-can of dank midnight sandpaper sultriness.  I know this is not sounding like a world-class wine–and trust me I know it isn’t going to be–but bottles like this are so much fun.  I am completely in awe of people who drink young cabs.  I would trade one bottle of fading-fruit, strangely nuanced, funky feeling, OMG even bretty: THE HORROR! ten-year-old cab any day for a case of your 2013 YES I SAW PEOPLE DRINKING 2013 CABS THIS WEEK (do the math on that) and not just simple, stupid grocery-store cabs, SERIOUS cabs.  One of the saddest things I have ever read came this week on IG via one of my favorite old-skool wineries, BV.

When did this happen?!?  What have we become?!?  We ALL know wines are “generally being made today to drink earlier” <–we’ve heard THAT for decades.  But for a stalwart old producer to just come flat out and say DON’T EVEN BOTHER BECAUSE WE’VE DONE ALL THE WORK FOR YOU?!?!?  That is definitely sad and just tells me another winery is sucking at the corporate teat and marketing to the low-hanging branches.  Which will make you very popular these days.  65K followers of  @WOMENWHOLOVEWINE and 75 other bloggers I could name can’t be wrong.  So fuck you BV.  Seriously.  You just lost a DIE-HARD, LIFE-LONG fan.  It’s shit like this that makes you want to throw the whole cellar out on the street and start drinking BEER.

Ok, rant over and back to the sad little wine from Clear Lake.  An hour of decanting has concentrated the bouquet into vodka-soaked cranberries and tar-paper.  In the mouth, DEFINITELY shy of fruit–but nothing else.  Harsh and mouth-filling, tannic and drying and acidic and alcoholic–everything all at once–everything but fruit.  There just really isn’t any.  Well, isn’t any anymore.  Maybe there was?  Wonder what the AL on this thing is.  15-2?  14-8 MINIMUM.  An extremely interesting wine and quite fun to drink and completely enjoyable, I just have to be fair and call it a fruitless muss which was/is a hi-AL nightmare.  Would love to have tasted this thing on release.  The one good thing is a complete lack of oak.  This really reminds me of the 2006 Bacio Divino To-Kalon I drank a few weeks ago.  It had the stuffing, but never opened up… just tried and tried and I kept grasping for something there (naturally, it was 3X the price of this one) but by evening end I had to face the cold facts it just never existed.

2006 SOL ROUGE Cabernet Sauvignon Lake County 14.7

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