A 7 year-old natural-ish wine??? A Merlot from a playful label, maybe even intended to be a chilled red??? OMG what will we find??? Well, first of all I found it lost and lonely in the cellar, but hey. Beautiful clear garnet with a wide, clear rim. Dusty, dirty nose packed with goodness: a little leather and tar, deep blackberry and viral briar all wrapped up in earth and… well… the fruit just goes on and on.
In the mouth, clean and crisp, chalky splendor in a ridiculously concentrated package. Dark gobs of berry pack the entry, all youthful fruitiness long gone–in its place a serious glass of rather sensuous stuff. Brilliant rasp etches the sides, and of course, I’m asking myself throughout if fruit has faded. Happily: NO. Not even close. Plum and dank leather and plentiful Bordeaux goodness jam-packed throughout, never pausing for any watery nonsense or vapid has-been presence so common in inexpensive Californians or Right-Banks at this age. Despite its soft-shouldered, nearly-clear bottle, this thing pumps out beauty non-stop. Even the tannin is viable in a finish mineralific and dense, the rich cherry going on and on forever as your mouth attempts to wipe the acid away. I didn’t see this one coming, honestly–but here we are. A true example of this magnificient grape: done beautifully and standing the test of time. I hope you bought a lot: it’s got years to go.
2015 AMPLIFY WINE Merlot Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. California 14.1