Electric Verdot

Dark ruby with a sliver of a clear rim. Big smoky dankness flows out of it, dark and ‘grapey’, deeply concentrated and ripped with dates and honey and roasted meat dripping with BBQ sauce and umami. Nice strains of stony earth move alongside, producing a high note of wet granite which climbs out and becomes tête-à-tête with the bloody fruit after considerable air. All visions of flabbiness you might have had are thwarted at this point, propped up by a gradually-increasing and glorious barnyard note.

Not a common blend. Hell, not a common solo variety, and the blend plumps it up a bit into a very interesting wine. This is a tiny Paso Robles producer who has been working in some of the most impressive of local wineries for years and is just starting out with his own label after dabbling with a barrel here and there. This is my first experience with a wine of his being fully labelled and commercially available for market.

In the mouth, tart cherry hits everything with a tautness again defying that initial fully-warmed nose. HUGE dirty spice and soil enter the picture mid-way, accompanied with seemingly chewable fruit solids–so rich–touched with burnt rubber and piled high with ridiculous cantaloupe, plum and a solid velvety caramel in the background. Tannins delicate and integrated well into the fruity finish.

Cheery and bright, while never losing that Paso west-side hillside complexity, if it isn’t the lowest alcohol wine you’ll ever find from Paso, it certainly is the most interesting. Find it if you can.

2015 CHRISTOPHER BLAKE ‘Electric Chair’ PV/SY 80/20 Paso Robles 14.3

christopherblakewines.com

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