California Dreamin

Deep, nearly impenetrable ruby b-a-r-e-l-y thinning to a sliver of pink at the otherwise abrupt edge. Rosy vanilla and dusky oak edge a fat funk of winery interior but a massive nutty lake of thick cherry, licorice, intense chocolate and smoky blackberry make this an instant rich charmer, smooth-talking its way into place you typically would not go on the first date.

Have I ever told you how much I love Carignane? At one time THE most heavily planted grape in South France and I believe it even matched that title in California. So versatile, it can do anything from cheap over-cropped filler in red blends to stalwart stand-alone bottles from rustic to elegant, light and fruity to massive extractions. It also make great rosé. This bottle is Contra Costa County, home of some of the finest examples of old-vine south-france varieties in California. This is Cline and Evangelho country. Bottomless sand and a high water table.

In the mouth, a bit of a shock from the opulent nose. The chocolate and licorice and rich vanilla do not translate over as they would with more user-friendly red wines, but everything is taken down several notches into an acidic, low-pH wonderland of un-insulting pie-cherry and cranberry, beautiful even-keeled balance ALL across the palate–a rich, thin slip of fruit buoyed along joyously and perfectly by the perfect injection of toe-curling structure. Sharp and zitruzy, I don’t think this thing is over 14-0, and the finish brings a bit more wood to the foreground, but the hi-note plum and Granny Smith power on forever and ever before a teensy glimpse of tertiary leather peeks out of a finish that will have you asking your girlfriends how long you must wait before calling him back.

Holy shit, this is Evangelho Vineyard. I didn’t even notice that until I started typing the details.

2015 T-VINE Carignane Evangelho Vineyard Contra Costa County 13.9

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