Med ruby with grainy edges. Big dark roasted fruit–seriously black stewed sautéed caramelized jelly toying dangerously with prune. A little deep wet tree root surrounded with fierce alcohol. Decanted heavily. I know it won’t help the flabbiness, but it might tone down everything else. This is an unruly little wine–no, it is NOT little. It is a BIG wine and you can do FAR worse for 25 bucks. Nice crisp root-beer, chocolate and more alcohol come flowing out after considerable air.
In the mouth, more richness and graininess, fruit thin against all that acid, tannin and alcohol. This thing drinks like the ripest Bordeaux on the planet. It is not *Lean & Mean* but it is far from opulent or even elegant. It actually develops a little old-world funkiness AFTER breathing.
An interesting wine, to be sure, and one I do not dislike. I love the American oak and the tannin and the viscosity, the parts that bother me are the lack of vibrant fruit and alcohol. It would absolutely BLOW AWAY probably 95% of a field of Napa Valley 25$ bottles–most of which have gone the flab/sugar direction. This thing would settle in quite nicely with some Alex/Sonoma *frontier-wine* type stuff. It would also probably show quite well with some Paso cabs. Paso could never achieve these green, mouth-numbing tannins though. Maybe down in Santa Margarita.
An interesting wine. Not spectacular, but hitting on A LOT of positive points and the value is undeniable. I’m liking this wine far more than it sounds like!
2011 HEDGES FAMILY ESTATE Cab/ME/SY/Bec/CF 44/33/16/4/3 Red Mountain Washington 13.5