A little Robitussin gravity and NyQuil ripeness announce an otherwise calm version of Napa Cab. A bit smokey on first swirl. Beautiful ruby, clear and bright–no brick to speak of. Delicate spice, woody and nice, with dusty cherry clamoring for attention but not making a whore of itself. Nothing overt in either direction, nice thin berry and scarcely a showing of expected tertiary. The nose tells me of a wine which has settled down a bit though, entering into that phase of its life where gobs of fruit haven’t quite gone maraschino and deep age isn’t showing itself yet.
I know nothing about this wine and several queries to smarter folks have gone unanswered. For all I know it could be a bulk-juice vanity label. Speaking of the label… it DOES have certain shades of other well-known Napa bottles–something that usually turns me aside but I try not to try wines for those reasons, but it does give a bit of an asterisk. Found this on a shelf for at about half off and decided to take it around the block a time or two.
In the mouth, just a beautiful, fairly normal Napa Cab. Dark and dense, woodsy dankness envelopes the rear while pristine acidity and charged fruit command the front. Perfect pie-cherry, a dash of raspberry, green tea and asphalt make tiny positive encroachments on the panel. Grating black slate–wet and porous–define a chalky beauty. Still-substantial tannin scrub themselves with sudsy sweet fruit, leaving pleasant memories.
I think I might grab the rest of these on the shelf. I just realized looking at the label we don’t even know if it’s cab. Hmmm… now that brings up a whole new conversation. I’m gonna go at least 50/50 cab/ME, maybe a touch of CF. Who knows. I’ve never heard of Raphael Rios III in my life.
2009 JUSTICIA WINES ‘Themis’ Red Wine Napa Valley 14.5