91 POINTS, GOLD MEDAL! 2021 CRITICS CHALLENGE WINE COMPETITION
Tight-knit and peppery with lots of pairing possibilities, and age-worthy to boot. A Gold Award winner at the 2021 Critics Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition. 91-POINTS July 6, 2021
Back we go to the Dry Creek but this time to a west side benchland vineyard about as far west as you can go before hitting mountainous terrain. Its an awesome site, well-drained with a microclimate a touch cooler than the rest of Dry Creek Valley largely due to afternoon down-slope winds coming off the mountains and, to some degree, proximity to the ocean. The blend below is what we purchased from the producer and, given the reason for the sale was "we have more than we need", I assume their bottling blend.
I attended a zoom conference with various wine writers last week. This is the first published review for this wine. From wine blogger and reviewer, Jeff Kralik AKA the Drunken Cyclist, and published on CellarTracker.
Retail $12. Cameron Hughes claimed that this was a $40-50 wine from perhaps my favorite Sonoma County appellation. Who am I to disagree? Dark in the glass with a fruity compote of blackberry, cassis and black pepper in the glass. The palate is fruity and inviting with plenty of acid to balance out the fruit, that black pepper, and a touch of mild tobacco. Yum. The tannins are there, but soft, suggesting a short-term cellaring here (3-5 years, max). Another winner from the wine-whisperer.
8.20.20 tasting notes: Jeff's notes above are from our tasting of last week - the wine had about 10 days in the bottle so still pretty good but just descending into bottle shock. The following notes are from my hold-back sample:
Dark in the glass with an electric plum rim. Crazy, almost volcanic-like aromas of graphite, cassis, and red clay slathered with dried herbs, savory crushed plum and blackberry jam. With air, the addition of white florals and a wonderful red fruit and loam character take the complexity next level. Ripe and chewy on the palate with robust yet soft tannins that integrate nicely with a black fruit and dark chocolate oak finish.
Check-in tasting 6.23.21 -The aromatics are fairly robust but the palate is beautifully resolved and seamless. Still, this wine has gobs of structure and fairly tightly wound. Decant for a couple hours and, like N.31, enjoy with rich foods.
84% Cabernet, 9% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, 3% Petite Verdot
40% new French oak 14.7% alc. Bottled July 29th, 2020