Justin Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Lovely inky black in the glass, this wine promises to be a good one, if only by the winery’s reputation and the fact that nearly half of their entire production is this wine. Pouring it into the glass, I was a little bit surprised that it seemed a bit watery, but the label tells me that this is only 13.5% abv, which seems odd given the place it came from – I’ve had a lot of Paso Robles zinfandel that contains a guaranteed hangover in every bottle – but then again the Agent for Change cab I had from Paso was also held to these relatively low alcohol levels.Anyhow! There’s a very fresh, simple smell to this wine, tinged with an edge of coconut-fruity-banana that seems to promise a good time. (I ordered this through the mail, but I almost imagine this being packaged in a plain brown wrapper at a liquor store – there’s just something risqué about it.) The oak on the nose seems a bit raw; it’s more reminiscent of bourbon than Bordeaux.Somewhat voluptuously overwrought at first, my initial impression is of a blowsy, gone-to-seed wine – it’s all very louche in a Plato’s Retreat kind of way. Yes, there’s enough acidity here to stop the wine from being completely flabby, but it strikes me as a little bit harsh and not particularly well integrated. Flavors, such as they are, seem to be stuck in a high-pitched giggle more appropriately found in strawberry fruit leather; that being said, the wine does display some complexity after aeration, but it’s all a lot like listening to the Bee Gees: yes, the singing is good, but it’s all disconcertingly way high up there. I’d ordinarily prefer some bass to counterbalance all the treble, but I’m not getting it much here. Tannins are present, but they seem clunky and somehow flown in from another wine entirely; there’s almost a hard Loire edge to them, but only just.All in all, drinking this wine is rather like Cubist art: all very well and good if you’re in the mood for it, but sometimes you just want to look at something pretty. This is not a bad wine; there is quality here, but I’ll be damned if I can puzzle it all back together right now. Ultimately, this is probably best drunk with steak: it’s got a sort of sweetness that is initially pleasing, but on its own it just doesn’t work.Justin
Price: $25
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

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