When Taste Over-rides Smell

Clear bright ruby with thin clear edges.  A cellar-floor-ish sorta burnt-rubber banana-peel nose definitely not gravitating toward fresh fruit and toying dangerously with oxidation.  Boiled cherries.  Still and calm with no energy.  I have not had this wine since the Joseph Phelps days.  Probably pre-2000 even.  I picked this up in anticipation of tasting Baker & Brain’s Le Mistral and was curious how the old-school label had held up, switching hands and all.  I feel it has also taken a huge step backwards in quality.  In the mouth, things improve considerably.  Rich and elegant, deeply fruited, rife with dark cherry concentrated and fairly intense spice.  A fat swath of acid washes everything and the finish is outright beautiful, with supple fruit and soft tannins. Why can’t it smell as good as it tastes?!?!

2011 LE MISTRAL Monterey County (label is very vague whether grapes actually are derived from The Le Mistral Vineyard) SY/GR/AB/PS  51/39/7/3  14-3

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