Ridge Buchignani Ranch Carignane 2004

Honestly? The first word that comes to mind here is naff. This isn’t a stylish wine, it’s not fashionable, never has been, never will be. The only reason this stuff exists is because Italian immigrants to California took it with from the old country; it’s survived here and there for over a century, and this wine is produced from some of those ancient vines.It’s a wine-y wine in that it smells like generically good wine. There’s not a lot of complexity; I’m not imagining old libraries, fresh mushrooms, straw in autumn sun, none of that stuff. Instead, it smells like bright, rich, clean, wholesome fruit. There is also a kind of fall-off to the smell that is hinting at bottle age, but it doesn’t necessarily seem like a bonus: instead, it seems like a reminder not to keep the wine around so long the next time.Once drunk, the wine is fairly simple and bright, with a chunky, tannic finish that’s quickly rescued by sprightly acidity. There’s a certain weight to the palate that’s attractive, but ultimately this isn’t one for the ages; it isn’t compelling enough to drink on its own, but would probably shine with charcuterie or a leg of lamb. Ultimately, the most interesting thing about this wine is simply that it exists at all. When I drink this, it’s satisfying to know that a small part of my state’s heritage exists in a consumable form to this day.Ridge
Price: $24
Closure: Cork

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