Big gorgeous briar, stemmy and grand, a fat slab of barnyard playing nearby in piles of salted licorice, molasses and milk chocolate and a gloomy alcohol. Vegetal spice and phone-book dryness make me just dig this wine all the more. Bitter and dense in the nose, firm on the fruit–a MASSIVE nose cleansing and clearing and smelling like cab. The candy on the fresh pour, the dankness and compost on the middle swirls, and the 5-spice all the way through make it sing.
This isn’t a super-complicated wine. It also isn’t a very expensive wine. Formulaic? Call it that if you will. Flawed? I KNOW there are people reading this who are going, “Hmmm… barnyard brett, vegetal pyrazines, phone-book=corked, licorice and volatile means there’s VA, molasses and compost it must be oxidized, spice and licorice, must be an oak bomb. Oh, and it’s probably a bit chubby.” I KNOW this. I get your messages and read your comments. You see wine in 2 dimensions. You have more WSET in you than actual elbow-talk. Anyone who has dranken wine with me know I LOVE wine “flaws”. I put that in quotes because I am not going to sacrifice this wine to the blogger gods to prove a point. This wine is NOT flawed. It’s beautiful cab. WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT INTERESTING NUANCES IN WINE? God what a boring cellar THAT would be. Any time you hear someone say, “Clean, fruit-driven wines.” Run. Run as fast as you can. You are not getting wine. You are getting a beverage engineered for the masses. For scores. This right here is a real wine.
Beautiful pomegranate, under-ripe berry and a dirty trail of shuffling bittermen in the mouth. Thick cherry half praying to a chalky god and half dancing with it. A clamoring rasp arrests the ripe fruit early-mid, cramming a bit more of that spice down your throat, but doing it with medium sandpaper. I’m going to guess the alcohol at 13-8. Tannins just shred your mouth, acid laughing alongside, but everywhere you look is cab. Beautiful cab.
This is an orphan I found, but I’m really wishing I had a few more of these. THIS IS A TWENTY-DOLLAR BOTTLE OF CAB. And it’s from one of my favorite appells in California: Paicines. Look it up. Instantly buy it when EVER you see it on a label.
2011 DONATI FAMILY VINEYARD Cabernet Sauvignon Paicines AVA San Benito County California 13.7