No Hedgehogs were Harmed

My last bottle of a 6-pack I purchased in maybe 2010. For an inexpensive wine with production at 12k cases, I’m thrilled to look back and see how they have progressed and blossomed, but am not sad this is my last. It’s time. At 13, they are about as good as they’re gonna get. Looking at their website, I see current releases of this wine have only increased $5 from what I paid. Deep ruddy brick around a black garnet core. Monstrous nose of pure ripeness and reduced cherry–no prune or NyQuil to speak of: just gorgeous polished maraschino tinged in creme de Cassis and heavy tertiary chipping away at still-visible briar. The fruit is still a solid wall, and leather or tobacco take some looking-for. Hell, maybe this thing COULD go another decade.

Tasting it paints another story–one hinting again at prime-to-fading. Tannins are nearly non-existent, and acid has overtaken the fruit slightly, creating a bit of burn where I would like to see fullness of berry and spice. The fruit is a smoooooth affair, pithy and dark, somewhat one-dimensional in its cherry-focus, but that’s not something I am going to complain about at this juncture. There are literally THOUSANDS of other–more unpleasant–things which could rear themselves in a wine like this, and it has none of those. Despite its half-Merlot, there is no hollow middle: the blend is well-reasoned for longevity of body. Small points of earth and pepper chime in, but nothing earth-shatteringly complex. The finish dries out nicely: white pepper and sage carrying the toasty stone-fruit to its final resting place. This is not a wine to rant and rave about–but it is also not a wine to weep disappointingly over a too-late opening. Thank you for dotting my past decade with loveliness from Red Mountain. And this is truly why we have cellars. I love wine.

2007 HEDGES FAMILY ESTATE ‘Red Mountain’ ME/Cab/SY/CF 56/30/8/6 Red Mountain Washington 13.6

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