Evening catch-all of some randoms… ranging to lackluster through boring to moderately well-showing.
2017 MIRALAGUNA ‘Drift Red Wine’ Los Olivos District Santa Ynez Valley 14.0 Local wine-shop find, purchased for hopeful ME/Cab components from a favorite area. Really boring, muddled nose of varied, vague fruit, slight spice and character, followed through by a matching mouth-feel. A bit of gritty briar invigorates the ripe berry… No indication of blend, but suspecting Merlot and possibly even Syrah. Deep ruby with garnet hints, a slight rusticity bends the mind toward Sangio or Temp, but who knows. Chubby and one-dimensional, an agreeable wine for those who don’t think to hard.
2015 TRENEL Beaujolais Villages 13.0 Bargain find you CAN’T refuse, from a great Burg vintage, but clearly not intended to go even 6 years. Almost identical color as the wine above, the nose a thin cellar floor tinged with slight greenbrier and barnyard. On the palate, drastically thinning fruit exposes only acid and structure holding court, and while not oxidized or substantially tired, there just isn’t enough stuffing to merit plaudits. Dry abrasiveness rules the day.
2008 AMBULLNEO Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 13.3 Showing far better than the past two I opened (2009?) and also one Kari opened for me a year ago (2007?), this wine absolutely sings with classic aged Pinot character top-to-bottom. Murky from the trip up from the cellar, a suspension of sediment filling the amber brick. Green and sharp in the nose, garden hose and barnyard-faucet mud pull a faceted fruit from closeted alcoves tinted with India ink and sharp herbaceousness. On the tongue, a thin, watery beauty, showing fruit-fatigue not horribly unlike the wine above, but enhanced with the residuals of California ripeness. Chewy and substantial, brilliant citrus takes savory obliqueness to new levels alongside barely-noticeable patinas of maturity. Fresh fruit your only obvious lacking factor, and depth lacking, it still manages a cat’s-tongue velvet of beauty.