Maiden Form

Checking in on an old bargain from before this producer had the amazing state-of-the-art winery and reception center in Santa Ynez. Back then, this UNION bottling hit the shelves at 24.99 and it was stellar at that PP. Dark red in the glass with a hint of garnet. Nose packed with funk and abrasive briar, wilted-vegetal and squished-bug nuances enveloping sharp blackberry and tobacco. Headily and elegantly floral, ripe perfume muddled in caramel and uric-tanned leather, all polishing well at 10.

Calm and un-effusive in the mouth, spicy tertiary covering the entry, with gamy bramble lurking. Fruit a serious contender–piquant ripe cherry and boysenberry–though showing signs of fade. Tannins are sharp and protruding, simplifying the wine in a way not terribly un-elegant, but shortening complexity and thinning the whole appeal. Feeling almost *light*, it lacks the wallop of dense SYV fruit apparent on release. Still fairly well balanced, it can probably hold this pattern for another decade–though it was never designed for that. They don’t make this wine anymore, and the blend has escaped me. CF & SY? ME & SY? Not sure… doesn’t matter… It’s an easy drinker not needing to be in the cellar any longer.

2011 BRAVE & MAIDEN ‘Union’ Red Blend Santa Ynez Valley 14.3

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