I’m a little torn on this wine. First of all, here’s what it is: it’s a shrieking rough-and-tumble Pomerol satellite bundle of funk and acid. Secondly, it is NOT what 99.99999% of the Umerican population want when the raise a glass of Merlot. I think probably ANY winemaker you queried on this wine would classify it as “unripe”. Obviously any new-world producers. DEFINITELY anyone from Paso or most of Napa Valley. Let’s be clear: this is not a 1% wine. This is probably a 1% OF THE 1% wine. I like it. It is green and wiry and blastingly acidic right from the nose, scraping minerality off the walls and distilling it down into a thin, spritely offering in the glass with sharp edges of not-fully-realized fruit and firm structure.
Additionally, it is from Carneros, which loyal readers will know I maintain the BEST versions of this variety originate from in California. But there is no round chocolate yumminess, no full rich cherry fruit, no astounding velvet forever finish. It is a brash little ball of hate from the beginning, combining effervescent cranberry and acerbic green berry from the first sniff through the rasping finish.
The fruit blossoms a bit on the palate, plumping up to young-Bordelais levels, but is knocked off its pedestal IMMEDIATLEY by ridiculous fresh-squeezed-lime acid which falters NONE as it transfers you into the finish. “Harsh” will be a word which will come up. “Brittle”. “Abrasive”. And, probably: “Awkward”. The flubby wet-leather and neutral-barrel entrance on the nose is the fullest extent of anything remotely *lush* and even then, you can SMELL the acid.
Lovers of Cru-Bojo, Chinon, and even carbonic versions of other varieties will find it enchanting and interesting, but if you want rich, full, round, fuzzy-landing-strip Merlot, I wouldn’t try to sell you this wine. This is a raw, young, screamingly-sharp wine I think few will understand.
2019 DEUX PUNX Merlot Carneros Sonoma Co. 12.9