Ridge Vineyards Petite Sirah Lytton Estate 2002

Straight out of the bottle, you know right away that this wine isn’t like most other wines. More than anything else, it’s the color that looks strange: surely wine isn’t quite that dark? There’s a brownish tint that looks more like Kyoto pickle than actual fermented grape juice; it’s not age, but intensity that makes it look that way.On the nose, it’s all sweet dusty bramble. In fact, it’s so odd that part of me is wondering if the bottle is OK: is that TCA? Brettanomyces? Or is that normal? It’s hard to get past the killer sweetness and onto a real wine smell. Jeez, Paul, do you think it would kill you to stop using natural corks? There’s almost a smoked bacon note there, but again and again that weird smell takes over. Is it supposed to smell like that?In the mouth, it gets even stranger: there’s a persistent, tooth-coating fuzziness that’s fairly unpleasant combined with, well, nothing.Dang it, this bottle’s bad. Glad I bought a pair of them… let’s go open the next one…Well, it almost smelled like wine there for a second, and then poof, it smells like tinfoil and metal shavings. WTF? Same horrible taste: vague sweetness and harsh, grating tannins.Next week in Full Pour: Will Ridge respond to my E-mail asking about this wine, and if they do, what will they say? User error? We meant for it to taste like you’re drinking it out of a Capri-Sun pouch? Gosh, we’re sorry, must be a fluke? Gosh, we’re really sorry, but they’re all bad? Or will they say sorry, nice try, but we don’t believe you and won’t refund your $60? Stay tuned…Ridge Vineyards

Price: US $30
Closure: Cork
Date tasted: December 2007

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