Some wines are charismatic without being pretty; they make an entrance with the panache of the truly confident, and it takes a moment before you realise they’re really not that attractive in a conventional sense. But their confidence draws you in regardless, generating a visceral response that, perhaps, speaks to a different sort of beauty.
For example, I could describe the aroma of this wine as outré, inelegant, overanxious; it’s indeed all these things. But it’s absolutely magnetic too, exerting an attraction that is really compelling. It’s a bit volatile — indeed, not a clinical style at all — with lifted aromas of stalk, black pepper, dried flowers, and deep plum fruit. Despite the eagerness of each note, there’s a fluidity to their collective expression that unifies the aroma profile and generates a sense of coherence.
There’s coherence, too, from nose to palate, starting with an entry that tingles with delicately sweet, red fruit. The flavour profile quickly darkens towards the middle palate, and a few threads begin to emerge. There’s rich, fresh plum juice, tart plum skins, sweet mocha tannins, astringent stalk and cracked black pepper. It’s quite complex, with a beguiling mouthfeel that seems to be both liquid-smooth and velvet-tannic at the same time. Spices and red fruit rise through the after palate before a long, aromatic finish draws the wine to a satisfying close.
There’s definitely an “X factor” at work here and, perhaps because of this, I suspect the style will be divisive. But even if this wine doesn’t speak to one’s personal preference, it’s hard to deny the strength with which its stylistic argument is made.