Electric purple. Nice fruity nose, crazy rustic cranberry with dark brooding ripeness lurking. Strong briar and a positive mineral edge provide body and complexity to the meat & potatoes nose. gorgeous to smell, gorgeous to taste, a magnificent drinking wine.

I can still remember my first experiences with this variety–always a rich, sweet, heady presentation–in the Sierra Foothills of Amador. I was very young to wine and can still remember the distinctive bouquet and being both surprised and non-plussed by it. It has been many years since I had it as a single-component bottle, and this is a masterful version, showing it CAN live on alone in a presentation which gets no asterisks.

Lively and dancing on the tongue, tart to a point, concentrated and extracted professionally, although I am guessing it at about or under 13-oh. Ridiculous cherry preserves and powerful acidity matching its bright pink rim. The middle is my favorite part, seamless and balanced, a touch of sweetness, everything working together in a package that, again, gets no complaints. Angry and dirty in the finish, the tannin takes wooing little steps toward obfuscation of fruit, then backs off incredulously.

This is an absolute charmer, playful and refreshing on one hand–serious and jam-packed on the other. Stuffed to perfect proportions, bright to stunning heights, while macerated to purple-fruited bliss. This guy is playing with all the bygone stepchildren of California wine history and doing so with aplomb and finesse. These are not weird, funky versions rolled out under romance for historical purposes: these are world-class wines inviting careful scrutiny. And winning. Find it. This guy is one to watch. He’s doing everything right and everyone in the wine 1 percent NEEDS these wines.

2018 Sabelli-Frisch ‘Gordon W.” Alicante Bouschet Lodi California 12.7

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