Medium ruby with less-than the expected amount of brick at the edge. Piss and grit and leather and old lace rise out of it, an almost-petrol carrier encouraging the vegetal and dry fruit along towards greatness. Cola and sage, pomegranate and pamplemousse, diesel and dust, the appropriate levels of wet dog and dark chocolate wrap well around a briary center.

This is a dirty, dirty wine. I mean–this is some girl you don’t take home to your parents, this is some girl you probably only tell close friends about. Fruit so decadent, so lickable, engaged in the sort of soil and effluent that make great bouquets on wine. Wines the 99 go, “Ew, what?” wines WE adore and cherish.

In the mouth, rich and fulfilling. mint and briar hit side-by-side with the grainy black cherry and dried blackberry. It’s juicy though. The core spreads open wide to gushing exuberance, tart and arching, savory only to a point–the point where sweet-bitter takes over. Tannins resolved to almost zero, tertiary goodness just carries the whole back end, soft and firm together, warm and cozy, round and inviting, you just want to nuzzle its savory sweetness all night long.

The condition of the capsule and cork worried me, but I probably didn’t need to open this wine. But she’s a fun trip around the block.

2001 THE BRANDER VINEYARD ‘Bouchet’ CF/cab/ME 49/27/24 Los Olivos District Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 13.0