Been jonesin’ to try this one for a while… These are smokin little wines–inexpensive as all get-out–single-AVA bargain wonders as only a second label or negociant can do. Plus, I adore Happy Canyon/Los Olivos bordeauxs: I think they can express some of the best versions in California, while being relatively unknown world- or even nation-wide. Ridiculous young vibrancy in the glass: all dense purple, blue-edged wonder, with a nose chalky and spicy, an intense granular impact of tart berry and smoldering earth.
Tasting it re-inforces everything stated above: It’s a fairly simple wine–no Napa Cab here–distinctly classic claret in body, the sharp brilliance of acid and mineral filling voids more expensive trinkets pack with luscious oak and concentrated fruit for the jeb dunnick fanbois. A bit of heat in it, but it and dryness all meld fairly perfectly onto the palate, with a solid WHOMP of black cherry reduction climbing out of the late-middle and into the moderately-tannic finish. This is a gold star, a QUARTER the price of Dusty’s flagship cab and can easily go a decade or more in the cellar.
2020 NSO by DUSTY NABOR Cab/PV/Bec 41/34/25 Los Olivos Dist. Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 14.5