Gorgeous little Santa Ynez claret still coming in strong at 7. Pretty sure it’s CF and ME, but there’s a tense edge buried in there telling of harder drugs in the mix. Nothing effusive in the clean, distinct nose, devoid of chubby floral or California ripe berry, it has a definite Euro feel, using asphalt and cellar-floor, leather and wet wicker to plump up the thin funk. But that is not to say it doesn’t smell fruity: it’s just a tight, steely pie-cherry and green apple mist ruling the roost.

Gorgeous as well in the glass: deep ruby transparency with zero brick. Perfect attack, boasting of blackberry syrup, a muddling of herb and bruised peach lays rich over a prickly pillow of spicy briar. Bitter, tarry flecks of character sprout mid-middle, more steely wash gratingly dry and delicate of body. The finish a sharp high-note of young tannin, it carries generous fruit well beyond the swallow.

One of those unsung heroes of the wine-world, not sure he still makes a BDX blend, but I lined up for it when he did and stashed a bit. One of the best investments I’ve made. This wine’s not going ANYWHERE. Another decade to go EASY, and one of the best St-Em-ish blends from California ever to cross my lips. Find it if you can. Buy as much as you can afford.

2014 HABIT ‘Red Wine’ CF/ME/PV/Cab 46/27/14/13 Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara 13.5


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