Three Wines and a Funeral

A few notes on my recent voyage up to Nocal and, as usual, stopped in at the local wine-shoppe to grab some locals for drinking over the nights of my trip.  These are all horrible, dreadful wines for various reasons–some astonishingly related.

2008 LA ROCCA Zinfandel Butte County 16.7    This sulphite-free–AND organic (seriously wtf ISN’T organic nowadays? Why do we still even put this on labels?!?)–Zinfandel was a putrid mash of prune-juice and burnt rubber.  Milky and brown with yellow edges.  Completely undrinkable.  16-7 uhhh huh! and a testament to all things fucked up about hippie-palates.

2012 BURNSINI Cabernet Sauvignon Tehama County 14.2    HEAD-AND-SHOULDERS better–which means I actually consumed a couple glasses before dying.  Reasonably ruby and bright.  Fat and at the same time meager and wracked with–again–pruniness.  This was NOT sulphite free, but so oxidized whoever cleans the hoses should be shot.  Just flawed practically beyond comprehension.  This is not a cab I would suggest to ANYONE.

Michael David Petite Petit California 14.5  I *guess* is supposed to be a play on the ingredients: roughly 85/15 Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot is actually from Lodi–not from the Tehama/Shasta counties of the other two.  I was having a really hard time deciding WHAT exactly it was.  Not like any wine I have ever had–well, in recent memory.  Black and impenetrable with thin purple edges. The fat maderization returns, but this time in a vague grape-punch sort of vagueness and varietal unspecitivity defying reason.  I’ve had very young PS do that, but then it is clearly PS, and this is a 2009.  All kinds of lab-created bullshit is present here.  You people DO know wines from producers like Michael David are *concocting* these wines in a lab, right?  It’s not wine, really.  It’s bullshit.  There really just is no excuse for wine this horrible.

And, since it’s easier to screen-shot four pictures, my wonderful, understanding, supportive girlfriend stands in for frame four and somehow endured the three days of raging the above three bottles represent.  This time, however, she is perched behind a stunning BTG of 2011 Monticello Vineyards Napa Valley Syrah at the amazing Grace’s Table in downtown Napa over lunch of cassoulet and steak-frites.  Thinnish of body and clarity, a fruit you could tell was considerably forward a year ago but maturing wonderfully, it still manages to pack a punch and benefits from shocking acid and a nice lunchable tannin helping.  Stellar and nuanced with bright florals and lively cedar-box and dirt.  Balanced beyond belief.  Would guess 14-2, would guess not a dreadfully long skin-contact and would guess a cooler portion of the valley.  Massive oak, but who’s complaining?  A brilliant wine.


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