Loyal readers know how opposed I am to weird blends, and this one certainly is an oddball–both on the label and in the glass. Leave it to this producer to do oddball things–but does it work? I shouldn’t have read the label.
Weirdly fruited in the nose. Definitely fruit-forward, even tipping the scales toward “jammy” or “cloying”. Dark, rich berry and black cherry dominates, with a lot of pipe tobacco, gravelly hillsides and interesting floral components chiming in. The fruit flies LOVE IT. (this is always an interesting litmus, as fruit flies do NOT like all wines, even sometimes big flush things they will ignore, then another day they will gravitate toward a thinner, more acidic wine. There’s a certain chemical situation going on is SOME wines which attract them, and I have never been good at predicting this scenario). Otherwise dark and rich, without an opulent nose, there’s just a faint meaty background to the rich berry–and a bit of cellar-floor funk. I’m trying to ignore the components in my evaluation, but it’s hard, as the Grenache and Cabernet kind of see-saw against each other. Typicity is out the window on this thing.
Should we blend everything together to make *good* wine? Well, my opinion remains firm: Red Blends are made for people who hate wine. But this is a field blend, so it gets a pass, kinda.
Tasting it allows for a bit more dissection of component. On one hand, I want to say the grenache just makes for a watery cab, or the grenache is just filler for a cab reinforced with tannat and PS. They’re all here, and the flowery, floral delicacy of grenache fills the mouth while PS gives a rosy plumpness and tannat rips your tastebuds off. Where is the cab? Here’s my thesis on this bottle: The CAB is the filler, with the grenache and the two bold bitters doing the heavy lifting. Nowhere in this wine will you go, “Oh wow, that cab influence tho.” Spicy, tannic and mineralific in the mouth, it’s a great wine, but gets an asterisk for going about it in blended ways. Not ‘smooth’ or ‘beautiful’ enough really to woo the 99, it gets points for that. I feel there’s a little RS and heat dominates the finish, although I am going to guess it at 14-0.
An odd wine, an interesting wine, a wine with definite ageability, balanced and enjoyable, wracked with acid, it TOTALLY works, just HOW they got to this point bothers me a bit.
2018 FIELD RECORDINGS ‘Koligian’ GR/cab/PS/Tannat 50/40/5/5 Paso Robles 14.1