Working on some of these cellar angels from way back… Had to lay down and crawl to find some bottles, and yes: if you’ve ever seen my cellar, you know there is a section requiring literally crawling and feeling your way through. What’s back there?!?!? Well, stuff like this. My first love of Cardella: the Ruby Cab and here’s one at 11 and I have mixed hopes. Cork solid and perfect, though smelled REALLY tainted but not a trace in the wine. Heavy garnet brick in the glass, a nose sullied down in maraschino territory–the cherry so dessert-y and dense. Not a lot otherwise going on in the nose, just deep, dark, reduced cherry with savory tertiary coming on strong.
But tasting it resolves all issues. This is a fabulous wine, made clean and well and though ridiculously inexpensive and from a region NOT known for age-worthy wines, my original expectations from many years ago stands strong. Glowing with rich fruit, a tangy acidic core expressing itself all along with aplomb. Bitter structure still grips the rim, a peaty vegetal coursing mineral and soil throughout. Blackberry and currant show no prune whatsoever, the whole package bright–but tired–a perfect testimony to well-made wine. Raspy tannins still infuse the finish. These need to be dranken–there is no doubt–and I need to dig out any remainders (as I know there’s several), but fight here, right now, the wine is glorious. Well done.
2011 CARDELLA WINERY Ruby Cabernet Vyd 22 Mendota Fresno Co. California 14.1