Door Number 2

My love of second labels is well-documented, and always look forward to Dr. Patz’s. Fairly un-transparent black-purple in the glass, a bouquet well beyond its price-point emanating. Deep, thick, ultra-ripe blackberry and blueberry, headed almost into tropical floral in dessert-y intensity. Smooth, pliable leather, a dash of vanilla, and tobbacco-earth darkness looms. Extremely slow to open, and heavily decanted.

In the mouth, it was immediately pronounced: “Too tannic” by one taster, but you must be patient! There’s PLENTY of fruit climbing around in this thing, and it is not thin, Bordeaux pie-cherry, but thick, warm California fleshiness. But–and here’s the best part–it never goes chubby. A rein of sharp chalky mineral caps the elegance, pulling it back into balance and an easy morph into the–yes, very tannic–finish. Ridiculously concentrated and monstrously structured, the palate gropes desperately to absorb a plethora of complexities and wipe the slate clean for another taste. The best part is the Diam30 holding it all in, and this producer intends EVERY year of that–and maybe more. At half the price of Secret Door, you’d be a fool not to snap up all you can afford.

2018 J-M-L ‘Lot No. 2’ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.0

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