Bonny Doon Old Telegram 2000

I’ll be the first to say that this wine isn’t pretty. Holding up to the light, it’s murky – it looks like river dregs, Delta muck, sediment. It all looks either very unsettled or in the process of disintegrating. Still, can’t say that I remember what this wine was like when it was young, so who cares, right?Right off the bat, the first thing I notice about the nose is that oddball candy-coated playtime of a nose that I associated with Bonny Doon’s experiments with micro-oxygenation from ten or so years back. There’s a strange, fruity, children’s-candy effect that I never particularly cared for; I prefer my mataro earthier, not fruitier. Once you get past it, though, there’s a lightly roasted/smoked coffee effect that’s intriguing, parried by a sort-of wild strawberry ostrich jerky effect. Curious.Relatively light-bodied at first, the wine quickly turns spicy in the mouth, tasting of candied orange peel and slab smoked bacon. Even if it seems light at first, solid tannins make themselves known soon enough, grounding it all in a heavy-handed, gripping manner perhaps better suited to the Detroit police. There’s a rich sweetness to the fruit yet, though, which rides above it all, lending it an air of deeply unserious seriousness that really doesn’t help pull it all together.To me, this wine tastes like the sort of thing a middle-aged winemaker would make: they’ve had some career success, sure, and the cognoscenti are familiar with the brand, but instead of doubling down and recommitting to better wines, middle-aged boredom has set in and now you’re playing around with shiny new toys instead of soberly paying attention to what you’re doing. I’m not disappointed by this wine – I think it’s decidedly unique and I’m glad it exists – and yet it seems that it’s a failure of sorts – a failure to pay attention to what Nature gave you and making that wine instead of whipping our your lab kit and making a wine that could only have been made technologically. What you get is interesting, sure, but it seems alienated from itself (alas, my attention span for Marxist theory was woefully short at university, so I can’t spin this out into a class critique of a wine that was forced to be something it wasn’t, alienating it from its true nature in the process).With more air, there’s a dark smoky fatigue here that suggests the wine is reaching its end of life (later rather than soon, I suspect). I’m enjoying it with pasta and red sauce; the meat of the wine is amplified by the meatballs and vice versa. If you’ve got this, drink it up now.Bonny Doon Vineyard
Price: $30
Closure: Cork

2 thoughts on “Bonny Doon Old Telegram 2000

  1. Sometimes, the beauty in a wine is not in the absence of faults, but in how well it carries them.

    Randall Graham rocks.

    • Randall Grahm’s failures are more successful than most winemakers’ successes, that’s for sure. And this wine is much, much more a success than a failure.

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