From the smallest AVA in California comes this fresh, vibrant red: perfect for casual summer quaffing and geeky enough to sparkle the snobs a bit. I try not to say “es okay” in my bad Cholo accent–but it’s hard. Also, I love the packaging: I love this stubby flint bottle–I don’t even know the name of it–and though the shape is deleterious to stacking and cellaring, it’s a refreshing stand-out on a shelf. My usual mantra of *Never bottle red wine in flint* goes out the window on this one, as the carbonic composition and obvious careful racking results in neither an intent to age OR serious ‘oogy-ness’ settling out–respectively–to complicate marketing or freak the 99%. It’s inexpensive and delicious and beautiful in both the unique bottle AND glass–making it the POSTER-CHILD for *slightly-chilled red*.

Deep purple in body fading to bright blue rim, the nose offers ragged cut-off 501’s and “you ever take it off any sweet jumps” fruity complexity: a serious ache of rich berry fruit placated by sunny floral and youthful carbonic angst. Summer Kool-Aid neighborhood doldrums spark shaded sidewalk skulduggery and confident swagger toward girls too cute for the guys who want them.

The palate rips shyness from the act and lands every antic with 10/10 aplomb. Ridiculous acid sears the plummy fruit, the Bordeaux composition straining at classic envelopes of dusty eucalyptus, cassis and leather against the frigid insemination of anaerobic vitality. Green blackberry deliciousness and and sweet pomegranate pithiness collude with the impenetrable black you saw in the glass to tip the scales toward unimaginable seriousness, all while bubbly Jolly Rancher fights tannin for the ultimate psychological reverso. This is the most gorgeous brunette, way-too-smart, out-of-your-league girl-next-door thing you will ever dabble in, and probably will be the *one that got away*. Or not. Your choice.

2019 ROOTDOWN WINES ‘Es Okay’ ME/Cab/GR Cole Ranch Mendocino Co. 13.9


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