Super light, completely transparent garnet. We’re just going to go ahead and call this amber. Transparent amber with a slight reddish glow to the core. An oily fruit reduction to the nose, quite stewed–with sharp notes of applesauce and cinnamon. Every had hot fruit soup? That’s what this smells like. If you ever get the chance for hot fruit soup, full of blueberries, peaches and grapes, thickened with cornstarch, try it. It is quite an experience.

In the mouth, expectantly bright and acidic, with fat chunks of woody briar at the forefront. Raspberry jam and canned apricots provide the fruit focus, and a gunpowder angst the backdrop. Golden bitter stem sets up the fruit for failure, a nice progression to prevent the berry from being a bit too juicy for its own good.

A very nice bottle of wine and a worthy example of the variety. As much as I hate to go seasonal on wine (I DRINK ROSÉ ALL YEAR), Counoise–in nearly 100% of its examples–fills a *slightly-chilled summer red* category. Drinking it cellar-temperature in wintertime with robust fare really gives a completely different perspective on the grape. Grainy and a little bit chubby, it opens a whole new world.

2017 THE WITHERS WINERY Counoise El Dorado California 13.5

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