Sutter Bum

I’ve had several vintages of this cuvee and always thought them pretty exemplary, but this one is just not doing it for me. The worst part is the smell. Burnt and oxidized, it fits in with its completely opaque, blackish brown concentration in the glass, right out to the edge, which has no clear, no purple, no ruby, just thick, grainy brownish maroon. The nose is ridiculously flabby, all pruney and cooked, devoid of anything bright or charming or spicy or interesting. This could literally be Paso cab. And not one of the good ones.

NOTHING about how this wine smells says Napa, or St. Helena, through-and-through an over-done muss. Decanted heavily–something which never helps these sorts of ills, but worth a try. Anything to coax some life out of it.

Several others at the table proclaimed this wine *tight*, but I am certain they were mistaking the strong tannin and considerable heat in the finish–after an absolute WASTELAND of an entry and middle–for worthwhile structure, whereas “tight” for me means something completely different. BDX is “tight”. Ridge cab is “tight”. Alexander Valley is “tight”. Well-made cabs in barrel are “tight”. This is not “tight”. This is a jelly donut that got ran over by a truck.

The whisper of fruit exposes itself momentarily late-entry, where it has already developed candied, dried-out tendencies but if you squint real hard I suppose you could call it “cherry”. Chewy in texture–mostly due to the hazy viscousness of it all. Is there earth? I suppose there might be some under there, but everything is obfuscated by the stupid burnt raisin fruit and horrific bitter tannin crescendoing early on and bringing shrieking heat with it.

This is a classic BIGGER IS BETTER wine the 99 will swoon over for its sticky reduction and terrible tannins. But people, please: this is not what good wine is supposed to be like. This is rot-gut.

2015 TRINCHERO NAPA VALLEY ‘Mario’s’ Cab Napa Valley 14.8

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