Since the 2010 BOZO RED the other night went–kinda expectantly–bad, decided to dig into my fairly decent vertical of BV Ruth. I buy these fairly regularly, partly from romantic curiosity, partly from industry litmus, partly because I still feel–even as their price creeps up around $30–they represent a benchmark (get it? get it? get it? see what I did there?) of cheap Napa District AVA cab. It rarely disappoints young; it generally impresses with a few years under its belt; I have had 20- and 30-year examples–even without exemplary provenance–which absolutely fucking blew. my. mind. Of course, the 1% will argue opposing curves between winemaking style and ageability contribute considerably to this phenomenon, and after tasting this 2010, would have to agree in large part. I mean–I *suppose* this wine could taste stupidly good in 2030, I might even keep one around to find out, but not having the opportunity to taste the ’70’s and ’80’s wines on release hampers theory formulation. Not to mention alcohol content, which I will shut up about right now.

Ruddy blackness in the glass. Quite impenetrable–even in shallow doses. Considerable oxidation and porty-ness in the nose–a warm round stewed characteristic not redolent of any upright fruit qualities identifiable at the You-Pick. I mean sure: we could sit here and throw berry names at it #influencer-style all day long and the gentle reader has no option but to believe it. But everything here is a dark cherry heavily-maraschino’d muss, with padded leather walls, a dusty funk, and *just* lingering in the amber cast, a green minty eucalyptus dull pine-pitch that retreats with each swirl.

Now drinking it is a WHOLE different story. This is a blast to drink. Exquisitely mouth-coating, rich and concentrated, blockbuster berry and cola bouncing off all surfaces, trickling down ticklingly, infusing everything in sweet nectar before shimmering off in sunlight, leaving thick acidic residue, gloriously bitter over the middle–chewingly so–myrtlewood and bay-leaf, peach pit and green cherry, the inhalation of something quite clearly from The Cask of Amontillado which I am sure will make you covid-exempt. Sweet and dessert-like in the finish with a hint of angst but is it tannic enough to last another 20? Are tannins required between age 10 and 20?

2010 BEAULIEU VINEYARD Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 14.5

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