Monday, July 13, 2009

Crushing It!

No, this isn't about my buddy Gary Vaynerchuk's new book.

It's about this phenomenal PS I tried from the Sebastiani family wine conglomerate, THE CRUSHER, which my friend Sonadora received as a sample from the producer. And while its name denotes a grape PreSs, its connotations were accurate as well -- this was a very enjoyable PS, and one hell of a deal at MSRP of $13 (putting it in the Concannon-Bogle range).

Here are the PStats:
  • Vintage: 2008 (by far the youngest PS I've had -- I have to suspect that this used microox, given the relative softness of the tannins)
  • Released: 04/2009
  • Region: Clarksburg AVA
  • Alcohol: 13.5% ABV (low for a PS, especially from Clarksburg, which is where Bogle gets its PS Port grapes)
  • pH: 3.77 (a bit high for my taste for PS)
  • TA: 5.8 g/L
  • 8400 cases produced
On opening, the nose was GREAT -- blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, dark ripe plums, and hints of dill and mint. On the palate, those flavors are joined by cassis, hints of cocoa and tar. You can barely taste the oak in this wine, which is a good thing, as it allows all the delicious fruit to show.

The wine is a bit flabby on the attack; the acid doesn't really start to appear until the midpalate or really take hold until the finish, and the tannins are not immediately evident (again, I suspect heavy microox), but do coat the mouth nicely upon swishing. The finish is pretty lengthy most of the time (but it comes and goes) and has great pure fruit that lingers in the mouth.

We PoliShed off this bottle pretty quickly -- which indicates that it's more medium than full-bodied (i.e., light for a PS), and did not decant. This is a tamed PS. The uPSide of that is that you actually don't need to pair this one with the biggest, gamiest, hunk of meat you can find. You (i.e., people are aren't tanninophilic like I am) can even have this by itself, or just with crackers and cheese. On the other hand, I would not age this for more than a few years -- it doesn't have the stuffing for it.

The extraction is fantastic, especially given the relatively light body -- it borders on getting fake, but does not go over the top. This is a great value, and a fantastic PS to introduce newbies and tanninophobes to the PSychos' Path. I highly recommend seeking out this evening "PSipper" from the well-regarded Sebastiani family.