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I hate it when the host waits for us to get half-in-the-bag before pulling out a really good (read expensive) bottle.  Well, that’s what happened, yet again.  The facts:  I did not buy this so I had to look it up, $40 ish.  Pro points- 90.  Blend: 51% Zinfandel, 19%Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, 12% Petite Sirah and some Charbono and Grenache to finish it off.

My take, initially….. in-your-face-Cali-Cab, fruit forward, New World bomb.  I instinctively thought Napa Cab overdone, but now realize it was the ripe Zinfandel that was leading me astray.  Dark purple in the glass, a huge blueberry nose leads into a blackberry and fruit compote palate.  This is not my style of wine, way over-extracted and too much fruit.  It was miraculously balanced and slightly tannic.  Miraculous in the sense that you have to work really hard to mess with very ripe fruit, extract the last ounce out of it and still maintain acidity balance and control the alcohol (It weighs in at a whopping 15.2%, yet it is well cloaked- beware).  The tannins are much more subdued than I had expected of such a young wine, perhaps the Zinfandel is the culprit again.

The wine has a long finish that translated back into a certain blueberry note that I enjoyed.  Overall though, a 3 pointer for me.  I would have guessed at 90 points and agree with WS.  For $40 there are others out there I’m afraid.  If you like highly extracted (I don’t mean complex or heavy) wines that are really fruity, this might fit right up your alley.  For me, I prefer a little finesse and slightly lower alcohol.