Closed-in dried fruitiness. Everything is a search. Caramel and chocolate austerity coupled with the sort of rich opulence contrived and on one hand meaningless and on the other hand dusty and tired. Big fruit-forwardness on the initial nose, dying down quickly to bland nothingness. A cheap briar haunting all angles with heat and cloying oak.
Warm and still on the palate, bitter green invading all openings while black dank cherry creeps and everything falls flat in the face of intense alcohol and sharp tannin. The edge of the acidity is pointed toward greatness, as is the concentration of fruit. Chalky and raspingly dry, the cough-syrup berry can’t decide which direction to go–warm and slutty in the interim, wretchedly and achingly structured on the final go-around.
What are we going to call this wine? A baby not yet reaching finesse? A 2011 needing another half-decade to glow? A 2011 pulled together in the worst of things and at its best? Finish ripe and full, dark blackberry competing with the nose of mint and dessert. It’s an odd wine–a testaments to what mountain fruit can do but still not achieving any balanced greatness. A bargain, for sure. But not compelling either.
2011 LADERA Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 13.5