Henry's Drive Vignerons
$36 – Somewhere in Chapel Hill, NC
Color: Thick ruby red, a very slight tinge of purple
Nose: Almost amarettoey, cedar, surprisingly unhot given the %
Front: Creamy cassis
Middle: Spicy--outright peppery, then just a peek of something flowery like honeysuckle, even
Back: A trifle hot; but like a sipping whiskey--wood, leathery like a football. That's right, I said football. An American football.
Burns clean?: Yes; in fact, might be a bit binding!
The transitions between the structural stages of this wine are very, very smooth. The hotness in the end of the taste fades after it's been open awhile, and that's when you can get in trouble, because it stays smooth and gets even more complex. There's something slightly overripe (maybe meaty?) in the nose that makes the bouquet really interesting; I'm as happy to sniff it as to drink it. This is made by the Australian half of the Aussie-CA combo who make Marquis-Phillips wines, and like the Sarah's Blend (named for Sarah Marquis) it's a whopper. I like this one better, though.