Beautiful clear sparkling golden ruby with bright pink edges. Big carmelized onion and sweet bell pepper precedes an even sweeter canned-cherry fruit with oak and minerality standing at attention. The petrichor runs into the almost bacon-and-rubber-band category.
The style of this one is unmistakable, but it is so ripe and lush and packed, it kinda taunts you from the South. See, I cut my teeth on CF in Sonoma and the Sierra Foothills in the late 80’s and 90’s. I never experienced a soft-shouldered bottle of CF until maybe 15 years ago. All my CF came in tailored bottles and it was big, peppery stuff weighted down with oak and cassis. I’m not saying either style is right or wrong–I love CF-heavy BDX, and (to pick on Paso a bit) JUSTIFICATION is the only Justin I will drink and my pattern with Chateau Margene and Daou follows the same lines–even blind. And this one: I said it teases you with extraction and density, but it is the funk and acid and subtle vegetal nuances through-and-through which woo you. I think it’s the earthiness which really presses this thing into the dense-realm. This is not a thin little cold-climate wine. At the same time, I would be surprised if it were much over 13-0.
In the mouth, God, seriously: I don’t even want to taste it. I just want to smell this wine all night. There’s this dense Mexican cola and black licorice you just can’t get enough of. In the mouth, the full, round tarry-ness of the fruit hits you along with the acid. Bright and effusive, fresh and shocking, but brooding and elegant. Like the really hot girl who went Goth in high school but all the football players still wanted to date her–much to the chagrin of all the cheerleaders. Fruit compliments the overt spice and acid perfectly. It is so rich. And yet so bright at the same time. This is a great wine. Is this my first HIGHLY RECOMMENDED of the year? Who knows. You need to find yourself this bottle. It’s under 30 bucks.
2013 LIEU DIT Cabernet Franc Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara County 12.7