Anti + CA

Black ruby with deep edges.  Intense mint breathes off rapidly–never completely–leaving a soft paper wrapper essence that used to hold the chocolate-covered candy.  Clean and focused–if a bit meager–a ruddy cassis-tinged alcohol burn at the ready.  Rather dull in the nose.  Straw.  A little skunky fruit peeks through, but you have to go looking for it.  Decanted moderately.

Does this have any Sangiovese in it?  It just says Cab on it, but on the back label.  It’s a pretty bland straight-cab for this price-point.  I have never had this wine before in my life.  Been aware of it, but just never pulled the trigger or ran into it at a trade-tasting.  I love 2009 and when I saw this orphan I had to grab it.  But Cab?!?  I would guess this thing about 24.9% Merlot and 14-1. How many cases of this are made?  And we’re headed hard into a decade of age.  Where is it?  Nowhere to be seen.  Dullness and boredom, but no patina.

In the mouth, things accelerate a bit. Grainy fruit hits early and hard, turning a momentary ice-crystal-entry into a gushing waterfall of delectability.  Not ridiculously concentrated–until the finish–and not particularly fancy.  Just a big fat chunk of rather nice fruit blasting over the tongue and almost immediately turning cheap mass-bottling acrid.  Full, green-bark finish, but I would stop far short of calling it massive tannins.  Way short.

This wine screams production from start to finish.  Built for the lowest common denominator of Napa Cab buyer with a decent bit of change in his pocket and an eye for cursive.  It never fulfills any wishful expectation.  It takes you to the corner of the right block, maybe, and just drops you off.  The mint and tobacco in the nose go ashtray.  The vegetal and earth goes cardboard. The fruit goes Jello-shot and I’ve seen more balls at a drag show than these tannins.

This thing–obviously–is not going to get a recommendation from me.  Is it a bad wine? No.  Not at all.  It’s just wine for people who don’t think.

2009 ANTINORI FAMILY ESTATE “Antica” Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.0


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