Lemberger Nights

Some wines you just HAVE to buy. Even if you’re lukewarm on the producer. I’d heard of this guy having a Blaufrankisch in his roster–but never ran into it on a shelf until now. I had never even heard of Kenneth Volk until I moved to the Central Coast almost 20 years ago–and discovered quickly people spoke in revered tones around his name. I’ve had numerous wines from him over the years, and–honestly–I’m not the world’s biggest Kenneth Volk fan–although they are always *interesting*. Somewhat falls into that whole Edna Valley-ish category of wineries: all solid wines–which I won’t refuse if set before me or offered BTG (as is quite common here)–but just never anything particularly WOW-ing. His Enz Mourvedre is probably my favorite–and even it can feel *off* or weirdly-destined at times. The website has a LONG list of “Heirloom Varieties”–stuff that would make any geek visibly moist. I’ve heard this particular fruit comes from the Merrill people out at Pomar Junction, but I could have been mis-informed.

Fairly staining dark garnet with a sliver of a clear rim. Brushy and stemmy in the nose, round, thick fruit obvious in the background laced with nutty tones and light baking spices under a fog of wet newsprint. Even at 7, it smells very young, and savory masculinity rules over its rich but rather un-complex bouquet.

Almost Alto Adige-ish in its hesitancy for show, the mouthfeel is just that: more *feel* than actual flavor. Thick black cherry on entry, but so enlivened with structure it again nods to MANY more years of *settling down*. Thin and bitter over the middle, the ache of briar and brush also partially obscures the fruit. Even though blisteringly tannic, plumb berry decides to re-surface in the finish: pretty much redeeming the wine.

2014 KENNETH VOLK Blaufrankisch Paso Robles 13.8


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