Skinned Alive

Been a minute since I dug into one of these Sierra Foothills stunners. As I have raved before, these are some clean, amazing, nearly-perfect wines from El Dorado–a region which is my FAVORITE of all the Sierra range. Pale transparency in the glass–absolutely clear even at depth–showing a golden glow to the rosy core. Bottled in flint–a bold move with any red–but zero sediment or haze anywhere. The nose is a calmy powerful rendition of deep fruit and chunky California ripeness, but nowhere are chub and obnoxious concentrated cloyingness. Beautiful raspberry and herbs de Provence eclipse the bouquet, an herbaceous funkiness kept well-clear of hardcore Euro rusticity, but reflecting mild earthiness and gorgeous composition throughout. It’s dirty to a point, but held aloft with incredible basic balance where no one thing overpowers the ultimate graciousness of the blend. Tasting it will prove all.

In the mouth, lush, sweet ripeness is the first thought, where oily, savory splendor catapult ridiculously ripe berry in meager viscosity. I’m guessing it a GSM of some sort, and it balances the verve and grit of Northern Rhone with the sultry grandeur of more Grenache-inspired blends. No one ingredient stands out, but it also avoids the rough ire of South-France catch-all wines. Perhaps a mop-the-floor blend of numerous varieties: whatever it is, it represents possibly the world’s most perfect table wine. Acid churns mildly below the surface, never chiming but always charming. Soft tannins appear late-middle, generating a raspy grate elevating and enlarging the wine to pompous levels. Sweet and lovely start-to-finish, never even remotely hot, with instances of burly beauty interspersed with granular fruit solemnity. A better *red blend* in California has never been made.

2019 SKINNER VINEYARDS ‘Native Red’ Petite Bouschet, Mission, Trousseau, Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Counoise, Mourvèdre, Zinfandel, Marsanne, Viognier El Dorado AVA Sierra Foothills California 13.0

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.