Pure Gains

You’d have to be living in a pretty deep cave to not recognize The Gainey Vineyard as a classic stalwart of SYV. Pretty much eponymous Merlot for the region possibly hit hardest by the made-up Merlot Flu. Few bottles have crossed my desk, but I have tasted in on numerous occasions–to varying results. Solid, a bit crowd-pleasing perhaps, but definitely delicious. This is my first experience with their Cab, though a bit of ME and PV are contained. Staining, transparent blueish ruby with considerable suspended tartrates. A fairly alcoholic nose, highlighted with dusty tropical, nail polish and sweet earth clinging to rich black cherry. Decanted generously.

There’s a dirty sharpness to the bouquet which translates straight into sharp herbaceous earth on entry. Dull clouds of mineral and loam cluster about the fruit, granting an almost-Rutherford sort of minty breath to leather and savory foundation. The fruit comes ALIVE through middle, a core of berry so bright and biting the heat of alcohol can be overlooked–for a moment–as tobacco bows in and out along frilly curtains. The burn grows, however: pitching itself headlong into Vit-C astringency before tannins prepare a softish, dry postlude. Throughout, a buttery sweetness placates all fears, and although this is NOT an oak-infested Napa concentration-fest, there are buggy, awkward inferences both in nose and palate where syrup and varietal tendencies meet.

2020 GAINEY VINEYARD ‘Patrick’s’ Cab/ME/PV 88/8/4 Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 14.3


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