Vineyard Block Estate
Calistoga, California, U.S.A.
$19.94 -- Spec's Liquors, Austin, TX
Color: Deep reddish purple
Nose: Plums, stewed black cherry, orange, a little heat
Front: Plum, vanilla
Middle: Cherry, coffee, orange rind
Back: Chocolate, soft tannins
Burns clean?: No -- almost immediate headache after glass 2.
Cap: Recycled cork
This is pretty good for negociant wine. It's full on the palate, but not too cloying; great with grilled rack of lamb and almost as good with a tomato-basil soup. There's a lot of oak, so if you like that, you will be thrilled--there's not much spice or weird earthy flavor, which I prefer, but it's a hedonistic wine at a slightly less-than-indulgent price.