OMG I’m drinking a Spanish wine.  Oh wait.  No.  I’m drinking a Chilean wine.  Worse.  Bright staining ruby but not especially dark.  Wide pink edges.  Huge briar, minerality and dusty nose very reminiscent of cat-piss on bad apartment carpet.  Now, I am the biggest fan of both Briar and Dust.  ‘Minerality’ is just one of those things hipsters throw in to confuse people who are more accustomed to drinking beer you can stand a fork up in out of 1 liter bottles.  Me thinks I might just decant this for a spell.  Talk amongst yourselves. ……  Ok, half-hour of breathing and this thing starts to come together.  The briar is still this freshly-broken weed-stem and squished-bug strength, but beginning to show some fruit.  You can SMELL the tannin.  Wonder what the AL is on this?  Not gonna cheat.  The acids and tannins are mind-numbing errrr–tongue-numbing BUT there definitely is fruit in there.  This one troubles me.  I wonder if I am being prejudiced?  Because:  Chile.  If this were an Alexander Valley cab, would I be gushing about the strength and tenacity and layers of it?  But instead I focus on all the bad Spanish nuances.  I really like this wine.  It is a merlot which you WOULD NOT take to a Pampered Chef party.  You wouldn’t even make it out with a pizza-stone alive.  Maybe just the 45$ tool which takes a pit out of an avocado–but you would be run out of Merlotville with this bruiser.  There IS fruit in there.  And it is not a dark, over-ripe, flabby, over-extracted type NOR a fruit-FWD type.  It is just kinda sultry in there.  Waiting.  I would love to taste this thing in a decade.  But that whole MERLOT thing from experience starts screaming at me every time I reach for my credit card.  I have tasted SO MANY wonderful MT’s ten years in and they are… just… well, you know…  not there.  But this thing has so much structure.  This is the most dense, gravelly, acidic, throbbing merlot you have had in a while.  This stuff is like Mendocino meets Pomerol.  And you can’t beat the value.  20$ Chiliean wine?  I think I just talked myself into it.  If the AL is under 14, yes.  Over:  No.  Oh snap.  Label says 14-0  ♦♦


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