Dark staining garnet, no edge. Alcohol hits first–quite a wallop of it–before settling down to a thick reduction of fig jam and cranberry. Sweet oak flows effortlessly out of the glass, tingeing everything in a creamy backwash of rich sauces and sautéed tropical fruit.
Been a fan of this brand–and it’s incarnations–for a good spell. First of all, everyone knows Happy Canyon produces the finest, most expensive Cabernet in Santa Barbara County. A couple of vineyards are at the forefront of the minds of those of us who follow such things, and McGinley Vineyard is one of them. There’s only a couple places which charge more by the ton for fruit. McGinley became Westerly a few years back and I was an instant fan. Solid, workhorse wines with just enough finesse and always showing the ridiculous potential of Happy Canyon.
In the mouth, your creamy saline is instantly replaced by shocking structure. The floral beauty of the nose transfers straight through to the palate, but now it is bogged down in blackberry briar and ashtray. Effusively bitter and green across the back half, it creates an interesting juxtaposition to the early gobs of sweet fruit. Late breathing dips the savory far into the buttered-popcorn realm, further confusing the palate of what to think about all this fruit.
I’m not sure price-point-wise this wine merits the sticker. I have had far more love for some of their single-varietal-reds and cheaper blends. But you have to admit, this thing is luxurious. Beautiful, full-bodied, round and luxurious.
2012 WESTERLY ‘Fletcher’s Red’ Proprietary red blend Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara County 14.5