A Quartette of Strangers

Sexy and a little bit dirty in the nose. Perfumed with soil and dust, sweat and grime, hair sticky, face smeared, gloves torn but with the kind of intoxicating prettiness a woman somehow manages even though filthy. Sweet and salty, a cherry liqueur blends green stem and a touch of pickle juice wrapping all the fruit stuffing with a tiny shrillness, but the deep garnet also reflects back some woodiness and oxidation.

In the mouth, fruit has dulled to grandmother proportions, tannin non-existent, the whole package a thin elixir of beauty. Wonderful to drink, gorgeous through-and-through, but definitely fading. I have a few more of these and need to work through them soon. Deep black cherry late-middle, bringing tiny tinges of bitter cola around for brief visits on the back of the tongue before a dirty finish.

This has been a memorable case of wine from Santa Barbara–a winery who doesn’t get a whole lot of press and is somewhat off-radar, but deserves your visit. An interesting blend–don’t call it Super-Tuscan–and here at age ten just top-notch.

2009 KOEHLER ‘Quartette’ Sangio/GR/cab/CF 50/26/20/4 Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara County California 14.5

koehlerwinery.com