Warm mild barnyard funk comes out on initial pour. Maybe a hint of VA and a good feel of alcohol. Definitely has an old-world feel to it, fruit red and not forward, a rather dense jammy headed ever-so-slightly for oxidation but fresh swirls pull up gobs of sharp spice. Crushed pungent leaves mix in with fairly heady wilted floral and a calm cherry reduction.
Nice transparent medium ruby with a definite nod into garnet. I’d say this is perfect for my hearty Italian red sauce and sausage I had planned. I wanted something American–eschewing all the Italian wines–and not something obvious like Sangiovese or Zinfandel, plus my feelings on California Nebbiolo are well-documented. This has an old, dark cellar feel to it, but at the same time fruit rich enough to make Californian sit up and listen. It carries a *few* characteristics of Taurasi and Vulture in the nose–but far more toward the big-house versions, not the smaller boutique labels.
In the mouth, the level of spice and pure pepper punch is astounding. That much definitely lines up with Italy. No heavy mouthfeel: thin bright pie-cherry and cranberry fruit splash playfully in all directions, spreading the angst of tannin on all surfaces. I love how the tea leaves and walnut skins have this fruity coating to them, like the shiny vaguely-fruited glaze on a bitter pill. An absolute enfant terrible past the middle, rashly intensifying the fruitiness and at the same time speaking proudly of structure. The finish will require an SOS Pad to get out of your mouth.
A wine like this is a beautiful thing to find in California.
2015 WEST OF TEMPERANCE Aglianico Heringer Vyd Clarksburg CA 14.2