I love this wine. Really do. Not for the feel-good story or lost variety or forgotten vineyard in an AVA people overlook, but for the reasons people follow me: because I’ll tell you when a wine is good. It’s just a really nice wine, for all the REAL reasons wine-people like a wine: it is solid,practical, well-made wine hitting all the points that matter. Dark, impenetrable ruby in the glass, a nose charmingly funky in ways European wines fall short on American palates. Distinct bright cherry leads the chase, the burn of acid following close behind. Mud from a dripping hose-bib along worn wood siding and the bright weeds springing up below create a glacially-cold mire of peat and berry difficult to argue against. Probably long sold out, but current vintages are surely available.
Tasting it pings depths of intelligence many current wines fail at. The ruddy bouquet flows perfectly across the early mouth-feel–a situation which can seem irrelevant, but I give many points for. Dank and darkly-composed, the grainy cherry compote both dispelling of fruit-forwardness and comprehensive in display. Acid plays in hard throughout the palate, a spicy, orange-rind-infused embodiment of leather and licorice grasping hard at straws of piquant chalkiness and calm fruity placation. A dry, green, black walnut infusion of structure captures the finish, where tannins are bold but polished. The body is so savory… the way it massages blackberry into salty depths and still comes up hard and bright in ways which will only expand your wine-IQ. I love this wine, and probably one of the best he’s made to date. How it manages such aplomb at ripeness/ABV levels so foreign in today’s world is astonishing. Very near perfection.
2018 SABELLI-FRISCH ‘Gordon W’ Alicante Bouchet Lodi 12.7