Florescent ruby with Day-Glo purple edges. An immense tarry graham-cracker situation flows out of the glass accompanied by sweet cinnamon apple pie, alcohol and an opaque minerality. Steely and sharp after the funky brett and cassis heroin tincture subsides. Big wet-leaves/crushed weed-stems tag-team the whole bouquet package but not necessarily in a good “briary” way. It all comes crashing down quite rapidly to fat, simple, limpid still-water liquid.
Do we need wines this big and steroidally multi-dimensional? Where did they come from? I don’t need to taste it to tell you it is unbalanced. And still the alcohol rolls off the nose. With its buddy vanilla extract. Not *vanilla*. I love vanilla. But stick your nose in a bottle of vanilla extract. How do you get past that? These are the blockbuster wines around here lately. Everything on eleven. The tourists love it. They vie for the biggest wines. “That thing’s HUGE!!!”
In the mouth a sweet tobacco fruit attempts to exhibit itself–more of a wet ashtray sort of tobacco–against the aforementioned sensory objections. The wet sandpaper extols over all and grating tannins take hold immediately. Don’t get me wrong: I love tannin. I was drinking Cornas when most of you were shitting green. But this is a different sort of tannin. Take an incredibly obese red wine with myriads of sticky olfactory nuance but no fruit and sprinkle shocking, bitter tannins over it. People will swoon! Yes, so there’s fruit. It is a sickly sweet sort of confiture of indistinguishable origin blatantly drowned in what the fans will call ‘complexity’. OK, I’m being a little hard on this bottle. Let’s be clear: This is not Herman Story or Sans Liege. This actually has a little bit going on which makes you think, Hey, this could polish out nicely. Good luck with that. It’s fat, unbalanced, vaguely-fruited, alcoholic and miserably tannic.
2013 CASA DUMETZ GSM ‘Solid Ground’ Los Alamos Valley Santa Barbara Co. 14.8