Sonoma, California, USA
$16.99 -- Total Wine, Durham, NC
Color: Dark red
Nose: Spicy, woodsy, minty
Front: Blackberry, musty
Middle: Tannic, meaty
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Fake cork (plastic)
When you smell it, it could be roasted something or preserved fruit, but it could be a car repair shop on a slow, rainy day. The taste at first is like licking the inside of the old moldy Chevy with the holes in the floor that we used to own. The finish is a little more conventionally fruity, so you're like, "O.K., I'll try another sip, despite having just been forced into the back seat for a slightly frightening trip down Mildew Memory Lane." Pretty good for under 20 bucks; and it's on the by-the-glass list all over town (or at least, at J. Alexander's).
Still good. I'd say the 2004 is better--more interesting, more smoky and spicy--than the 2003. The price increase is a little disturbing, but only a little; they're making tons of this stuff. I would drink it any day.
2008 (tasted 2014)
Also good, but I think a little unbalanced, by year six. I think perhaps the 2010 may be in the zone right now?