16 December 2010


Ravenswood 1999 “Icon” (Sonoma County) – 13.9% alcohol, 73% syrah, 16% mourvèdre, 11% grenache, and 100% heralding the ubiquitous plague of fat-bottomed bottles that fit or stack nowhere. Much more decent than I’d expected, but then I didn’t expect much. It tastes like generic semi-aged California wine, which is to say it’s still simplistically dark-fruited with most of the structure polished away, yet has gained no real complexity or interest over its youthful self. Yes, it’s still not very old, but given that the structure has already faded I see no indication that longer aging will do more than damage to the wine. There’s an element of greenness to it that I’d like to think might be complexity in a differently-composed wine, but I don’t expect green in California versions of any of the above-listed grapes, and so I’m inclined to think that the grapes weren’t all they could have been. Which might account for an alcohol level that, through the lens of today’s monstrosities, seems entirely reasonable. (10/10)

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