This is not a timeless wine. Bad or even shocking news for fans of the bottle OR the vintage–and lord knows I had my hopes. But it’s just not here. Huge enthusiast here–as loyal readers know–of both the bottling AND the vintage, and provenance is assuredly not perfect, but–at least in THIS example–this is not a timeless wine. We all had hopes. Will be interesting, as I have probably nearly a dozen left, and here on the eve of 11, starting to muddle out into blasé.
Perfect cork, watery brick in the glass, a nose feeling roasted and burnt, fruit a muddy brown mustiness specializing in dreary preserves and weedy compost. It just flat-out isn’t very pretty.
Quite beautiful in the mouth, sharp ridges of acidity gently over-powering the cherry and soiled blackberry in classic *fading* consequences. Tobacco and astringent imbalance reside where gorgeous tertiary is expected, creating insinuations of ‘not ripe enough’–something harder for me to type than to believe. Bitter thin-ness rules here, and yes, I’m being ridiculously hard on this wine–as it IS rather enjoyable, there’s just no there there. In the finish, fruit blossoms more than anywhere else, and the dusty fragrance of true cab becomes visible in depth and density, but it’s just a little too late to be a saviour-point. Interesting but not delicious, and still-abrasive tannin point to added concern over longevity.
2011 BEAULIEU VINEYARD ‘Rutherford’ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 13.8