I Had A Barlow When I Was 11

Dark Ruby with thin clear edges and–oddly enough–somewhat staining.  Big peaty, pruney nose edged with mint and minerality and–at breathed-out periods–delicately sweet carrot cake with an edge of woody patina.  This thing flashes in and out of dully-sweet-interesting and dully-over-the-hill with ease.  Classic over-ripe lack-of-focus.  Ran into this at the tasting room in Calistoga and there was a big stack in the corner with a great price on it and couldn’t resist–after being impressed with their current releases–buying a couple.  There’s GOTTA be a reason a wine like this is substantially discounted and this one def shows the reasons why.  It was fat, plain and simple.  In the mouth, a wall of deep, ripe fruit–clearly headed porty–greets you with a cheering section of bitterish briar.  There really isn’t *tannin* to speak of, just a dense afterthought of grainy bitterness starting late-entry and running the full length alongside the massive, ripe, dense, cherry fruit tip-toeing on the brink of over-done-ness.  This thing is 14-9 or I’m a monkey’s uncle.  A moderately interesting wine to drink RIGHT NOW and has a modicum of things going for it RIGHT NOW and if you are near Calistoga, I would highly recommend grabbing a couple from the tasting room and enjoying them in the very near future.  It is a great bargain, and at 11 years old, holding up quite well for an entry, stupidly over-ripe north county cab.  Dull and under-whelming, but the patina and price make up for it and make for a very interesting and entertaining bottle of wine which compliments a plethora of dinner centerpieces.  And sales like this don’t last long.

2004 Barlow Barrouge 85/15 Napa Valley Red Wine  15-1

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