Gilt Free

Well, ya gotta get past the bottle first, I mean: this is some SERIOUS packaging… I know we’re here to talk about what’s under the cork but this thing’s got more glass than a mag of Champagne. To balance it out, they kept the screen-printing to an absolute minimum–there’s basically no information on the bottle, something I rather prefer. Don’t tell me all about the wine on the label; don’t put words in my mouth, or flavors in my brain. I want to form my own opinions, and why I recommend never reading back labels–also why I rarely visit tasting rooms.

Rich blood-ruby transparency in the glass with a pink-blue rim, a nose evoking warmth and ripeness–not quite Paso; not quite Valle de Guadalupe; not quite Arizona… something in the middle of the *rich, ripe, toasty, saline* spectrum. Burnt caramel and parched leather cover a certain mintiness of briar: pretty sure it’s Cab, but “Proprietary” almost ALWAYS translates directly to a spot of Syrah, though there’s a flushness of fruit suggesting PS and a peppery black clang hinting at PV. The fruit smoky and dense, the bouquet vivid and elegant–though BIG.

Tasting it thins out the Cabernet-guesses a bit. There is structural solemnity to it, but taken in stride with playful berry and bright briar. Bitter and pointed and shockingly watery over the middle: this is a welcome turn, as I KNOW this wine has to be nudging 15-oh and feels devastatingly rotund in nose and entry. Grippy and sharp, plentiful acid calm chubby vibes into manageable bites. Tannin is kind of an awkward teenager sorta softball situation, controlled by the low-note of warmth and powerful cherry. This wine fits the ideals of a VAST majority of red wine drinkers and certainly is gorgeous to look at. And… it’s from Los Angeles AVA–which is REALLY interesting.

2018 BYRON BLATTY Proprietary Red Wine Los Angeles 15.1

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