Crazy impenetrable and staining, with an abrupt edge just hinting at brown. It is not bricking–the ruby is just so intensely garnet, it gives the inclination of brown. Fat fat berry in the nose. This thing makes Violet Beauregarde look downright svelte. Crushed and intense, dark and somewhat dreary fruit–just so compressed and coagulated. Any spice or briar is subdued behind this wall of dark fruit, so rich–dessert-like and pore-clogging. Now, 45 minutes in the glass, I’m actually getting a little funk and floor.
I had the 2013 version of this a few weeks ago and might have been a little hard on it–I got several emails that I was being unfair to a fairly stalwart Napa brand. I’m not going to get bogged down in that, but I grabbed an older one for a spin around the block. I’m not seeing much difference. I mean–if this is your style, knock yourself out. It’s definitely powerful, but I find it a little orotund.
In the mouth, more density. Grainy on entry–like you can feel the fruit particles going through the teeth and over your tongue. Far sharper than the bouquet would suggest, the boozy-ness of the nose is alleviated too. Clean and tight. Sharp. Beautiful spice and cedar-box poignancy waters the middle and late into a pedantic model. Mind-bruising tannins, green and bitter smoldering wet leaves and yet… still… a glimpse of fruit far into the finish.
I’m really torn on this wine. I almost had it labelled *Paso* in the early nose and it pulled through nicely into something I’m rather enjoying. And all that ponderous fruit is still there on the nose. It didn’t go anywhere or decant off. Alcoholic and thikkk, I can’t stand saying a wine I found almost no redeeming qualities in on the nose transformed itself into a gem in the mouth, but there it is.
2010 ST. CLEMENT Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.2