Okay, I guess I’ve been a well behaved rodent. My double secret probation has been lifted and I’m taking my chances with reviews again. Por eljefetorcido y otros que no saben – labROUS is SonomaBouliste (see sidebar on blog page for “Weary Winemaker” blogs) is a Sonoma Valley winemaker of dubious repute.
2005 Twisted Oak Grenache
Medium red. Initial aromas of raspberry and strawberry with a gamy note. After swirling it develops very ripe cherry and berry aromas with a bit of raisin, almost Zin-like. There are added notes of cinnamon and a slightly smoky, Syrah-like character. There is a lot of complexity and a mature aspect to the aroma; this doesn’t smell like the straightforward fruit bomb that often typifies young Grenache. There’s a big sweet, full entry, lots of very ripe fruit flavor with good acid balance, and the tannins are moderate. There is some alcohol heat, which comes on mid-palate and intensifies a bit at the finish. Given the complexity and seeming maturity of the aromas, the soft tannins, and the alcohol, I think this wine will probably be most enjoyable over the short term and is probably not a great candidate for extended aging.
2005 Twisted Oak Tempranillo
Medium dark to dark purple-red. Initial aromas are of low to medium toast oak, ripe plum, dill and black olive. With swirling the fruit aromas intensify and are joined by leather, licorice and tobacco while the oak is still quite evident. More aeration brings out more fruit, a toffee-like character and some floral notes. Although I’m not much of one for decanting, if you’re going to drink this one young it will probably be much more interesting if decanted / aerated first.
The entry is sweet and full, there is good weight and viscosity, and that texture is consistent through the mid-palate to the rich finish. The fruit and oak flavors don’t seem fully integrated yet, and there is some drying astringency. There is adequate acid for balance without tartness. This wine seems like it will benefit from aging at least another couple of years.
2005 Twisted Oak *%#&@!
Medium dark purple-red. Initial aromas are stewed fruit, sandalwood, black pepper and oak. With swirling there is plum and cherry, chocolate, orange peel and a “meaty” character. Further aeration yields vanilla, leather, a bit of mint, modeling clay and lots of black pepper. The entry is quite sweet, full and mouthcoating. The middle is full and fruity with a chocolatey aspect, without a lot of apparent acid. There is a bit of unresolved tannin, but the finish lingers for some time. This seems more developed than the Tempranillo but will probably also benefit from cellar age.
These three wines definitely show a kinship. The regional characteristics and winemaking style are consistent. All three are fairly big, quite ripe and a tad rustic – typical of Sierra foothill wines. The style blends elements of new and old world winemaking, big and ripe, yet complex rather than simple and fruity.