Medium ruby, thin clear rim. Massive oak and mint in the nose. Ridiculous sweet ripe cinnamon and nutmeg and chubby vanilla, sharp root beer, grainy Pepsi earth and GOBS of cherry. Wow. The fruit and the pointedness of the mint and peat are SO strong on this one. Beautiful to smell. Right when you think it might be going chubbily wrong, all that mineralific beauty chimes in whole-heartedly, making things all cool again. But I have to be honest, some of that charm is breathing off, leaving me with a deep pot of oak and ripeness.
This is a little tiny Calistoga winery REMEMBER ME TELLING YOU OVER AND OVER SOME OF THE MOST REASONABLE, MOST OVERLOOKED QUALITY WINES IN NAPA VALLEY ARE IN CALISTOGA? I picked up a 6-pack of these on a pretty good sale several years back. Kinda slipped into the back of the cellar and forgotten until now. 2012 MONTH rolls on–quite unscripted…
I can’t wait to taste it. You smell a wine like this and you immediately start taking bets with yourself. Will it be an unbearable tourist oak-bomb? Will it have acidic edge and balance? Will it be one-dimensional or will it be a layered charmer?
In the mouth, the restraint I was hoping for becomes reality. “Restraint” is a word used in places it is almost never a reality and a word tourists don’t understand and DON’T want in their wines. Fortunately, my blog is cryptic enough and outspoken enough I think most tourist-wine drinkers are not following me. Fruit comes in strong and then takes a second place to green-briar and early-tannin–quite a feat for a 12. Lots of vanilla–but a sharp kind, not bogged down in oak–penetrates everything. Black cherry is seriously cut short by pangs of structure–something quite astonishing for a ‘Proprietary Red Blend’ well under 50 bucks.
This is one of those wines….. probably not gonna win any awards, probably not gonna blow anyone away, never gonna break the bank, but oh man is it quality to drink. As far as Napa Valley goes, it’s like caricature and quality hand-in-hand.
2012 HINDSIGHT Red Wine Napa Valley 14.3