Instantly obvious from initial pour, a different color than last night’s 2013, def lighter.  Medium ruby, clear with no edge.  Big barnyard funk blows off into understated patina’d plum low-lighted with forest floor mulch.  Focused cinn & nutmeg strain navigates the melange.  Slight dishwater nuance keeps everything on the ground-floor but through-and-through the beautiful briar-tinged fruit maintains.  Where last night a fresh swirl brought back doses of crisp mint, a quick swirl on this one brigs back more barnyard.

I have always preached an aversion to *vintage irregularities* in Napa within the entry-level offerings of the ‘Class of 72’ because I honestly feel their wines do not vary much between the Napa Valley’s alleged “terrible years” and the “VINTAGE(s) OF THE DECADE” [HOW many have there been since 2000?!?!?  But that’s another blog entry altogether.]  Therefore it was with indifferent expectation opening this 5YO CdV from a vintage suffering from systematic bi-polar vagaries of “89” to “96” but with most hindsight cheerleaders agreeing they are fun to drink and not to hold.  What.  The fuck.  Ever.  Just go away.  The Vintage-Wonks in Napa make my pancreas hurt.  There are no bad vintages in California!!!!  The WORST vintage in California is still better than a decent year in Bordeaux.  And if you want to minimize vintage fluctuation in Napa, you definitely should stick to the Class of 72.  Or the mid-80’s at most, but anything founded since is going to be focused on points and points only and crowd-pleasing manipulations with their respective winemaker-musical-chairs which at best create “yummy” wines from “a great year” and at their (non-existent) worst suffer through the blame-game of a “difficult vintage”.

In the mouth, dark and bruising–or maybe just bruised–with an early minerality thinning to an alcoholic mid-section.  Bitter, harsh tannin creep in early, doing a vis-a-vis accentuation of green briar and tobacco-cherry fruit off the thinnish finish.  It’s Bordeaux.

2009 CLOS DU VAL Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley  13.5


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