Well, what is this? Chalky-dirty nose, black fuzz on oranges, astroturf after a rain, THE biggest, densest, blackest, brick-wall, aircraft-carrier block of fruit you’ve ever smelled in your life, impenetrable and bloody with the stripes of clawing sagebrush, mint and black walnut. You’ve never really ever smelled anything quite like this. Maybe Petite Sirah? But NOT from Paso or anywhere warm. It has that chunky background almost-flabby fruit like PS but the funk of the mold and the intensity of the spice remind me of cool or mountain PS: Mendocino, coastal Sonoma, Howell Mountain.

In the mouth, HOO-boy. None of the fleshiness of PS is there. Full and rich on entry, it quickly thins and dries to an acidic bath. I know the word *cherry* gets thrown around a lot, but this is literally some of the most beautiful pure-cherry nuance I have tasted. Just pure beautiful cherry, floating effortlessly in air between the fires of tannin and acid. And not especially tart, as one might expect. The fruit is quite full and round–despite the chilling–and rather abrasive–aspect of everything around it. With all that said, I don’t think it is very high in alcohol. I’m gonna go with about 12-9. No no no 13-2 and that’s my final answer.

A most unusual wine, and one you probably should google. It reminds me of Lagrein a bit. And the aforementioned PS, of course. I love everything about this wine. It’s too bad it is an unknown bird. Order a case of this and pull one out a year to blow people away.

2015 RETRO CELLARS Peloursin Howell Mt. Napa Valley 13.0

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