Bricking slightly, but still staining ruby at the core. Massive green vegetal euc & mint nose, dusty velvet and gamey, like, really gamey–beyond lamb gamey–boar gamey, venison gamey, rabbit gamey. Hot butter and loads of vanilla bring an anise & cardamom feel to a nose with so much going on you quite have to look for fruit, but it’s there: big chocolaty cranberry and currant.
This was the first wine I had from this label–had never heard of it before–and was INSTANTLY sold. Yes, it was this vintage, too. Couldn’t even remember the last time I had seen Ruby Cab on a label. It was also the only wine I had from this label until I searched them out and now have tasted everything they make and bought *almost* everything they make. But this was the wine that did it. I have now visited the winery several times, and retain a sizable chunk of their bottles in my cellar.
This isn’t WINE101 so google Ruby cab. Pretty interesting stuff.
In the mouth, generous tertiary nuances rubbing away at the fruit on entry, a characteristic which plumps up the mouthfeel all the way through and especially the finish. All that green briar attacks mid-palate, along with a spicy burn. Gobsmackingly tart and still-tight berry coat the inside of your mouth, so thin and delicate and yet managing near-dessert-like compression and elegance. Tannins? hmmm. Not too much left and yet, I am NOT faulting the wine for it. It’s just SO beautifully balanced.. No, there’s definitely tannin in there, stemmy and bright, but the ridiculous licorice salt-water taffy mid-late nearly obfuscate both them AND the slight barnyard.
A beautiful wine from a place you’ve never heard of in California–a place where wine is measured in the 1000’s of gallons instead of the macro bins. And these people are a steadfast part of that business. It’s just they take a few rows and manage them differently and hand-pick them and make some damn good wine from them. Look it up and when you see the price on this bottle you’ll kill yourself. And this beautiful winery is, like, 3 miles off I fucking 5 so stop in next time you’re road-trippin through the vast wasteland of California’s heartland.
2011 CARDELLA Ruby Cabernet Mendota (not an AVA) San Joaquin Valley (not an AVA) California (that’s the AVA) 14.1