Shale We Gather At The River

Dark dark ruby, nearly impenetrable with a staining, abrupt edge.  Fairly clammy nose, dense and uninteresting, big cassis and perfume, but obliterated by a concentration smacking of Paso and a shallow alcoholic burn–also very reminiscent of Paso.

I’ve been curious about the Cabernet grown in Arroyo Seco for some time.  I KNEW there was some in there, just like there is Syrah and Zinfandel and a smattering of other things the region is NOT famous for and, arguably, shouldn’t be grown there.  I’m not a big “shouldn’t be grown there” type of guy.  Sure, for huge commercial concerns and single-variety-estates, I am all with the Farm Bureau or Davis saying, “Dude, that shouldn’t be grown here.” But for well-rounded estates and careful vineyard management, I LOVE seeing tiny pockets of stalwart varieties giving new terroir-definitions in places maybe not ideal.  I mean… What would we do without Zinfandel in Anderson Valley or Syrah in Napa or Cabernet in Austria or Merlot in Carneros or Albarino in Valle de Guadalupe?

In the mouth, sweet concentration backs up a twiggy stemmy briary entrance which carries a high tinge of bitter all the way through to the finish.  SOOOO concentrated, just THICK as thieves while maintaining a background of black tea and cherry compote.

And this is not a horrible wine.  Far from that.  Quite good, and for the money, can’t be beat. It is just confused. And dense.  Ridiculously dense.

2012 SHALE CANYON Cabernet Sauvignon Arroyo Seco Monterey County California 14.1

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