My last one of these and fairly beautiful in several ways and a bit awkward in a few others. Deep gorgeous ruby with a bit of amber at the rim. Beautiful chalky nose reflecting hardcore berry, plentiful oak and slight tertiary polish. It’s lovely to smell, with grainy black walnut and leathery dust captured over hillside decadence and tangy verve.
In the mouth: hot and spicy, the fruit showing thin dedication and allegiance to power from below. The blackberry and currant trickling down around the tongue absorbs the acid as best it can, but there’s a green threat straining through, culminating in heat. Sweet and decadent on top–but for only a moment–before *all things Napa* grind in to both woo and concern. “Proprietary” almost always means Syrah, and here the effects are rather forgettable–and this is a welcome plus. It STILL feels like a Meritage, with charming parts of ME, Bec and maybe even PV chiming in. It’s dirty and sullen in nose and taste, but manages spicy thin-ness throughout. The heat bothers me, and its operation in the fading structure, but rather beautiful right now, and races ahead of the conversation of *proprietary red* in Napa Valley in ways Block 19 does–I can think of no other.
2011 BUONCRISTIANI ‘OPC’ Cab/SY/ME/Bec 52/22/11/15 Napa Valley 14.4