This wine is sitting in EXACTLY the right spot: 5 years old and STILL available on the website. A little patina starting to peek through–both in the glass and on bouquet–dusty leather velvet massaging and polishing the vibrant–but characteristically smoky and rustic–fruit. Clear light ruby tapering out to a wide garnet edge, tilled black earth–peaty and gloriously musty–gripping the black cherry and ripe raspberry completely, running bits of walnut shell and peach-pit hard up in your olfactory, lilac and green-briar apricot balancing savory, meaty tones with oak- and bottle-age.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better drinking-wine on a shop-shelf in California. It doesn’t use sunshine and heat to insult the snob or titillate the tourist sweet-tooth. It doesn’t glorify *bigger is better* or strive for moon-shot maceration recipes. It calmly focuses one of my favorite varieties onto the palate in a way both Taurasi-correct and edgily new-world. Bitter and distinct in depth and breadth, a religious ache of acid grasping each molecule of berry. But the “settling-down” aspects of bottle-age are unmistakable: the entry a spritely stone-fruit; the core a full-bodied gasp of tarnished berry; the late-middle introducing bloody tannic ire; the finish a bristly ecumenical agreement between lust and sin. Well-defined and delicious, I could drink wines like this every day.
2016 WEST OF TEMPERANCE Aglianico California 14.2