Roiling Caldera

Fernet-tinged garnet, rusty around the edges.  A deep stew of vegetables and raw beef, heady and minty with disgusting ripeness and burnt spice nuances, awkward to the point of asking oneself if the wine is *cooked* or merely past prime.  Raw dough combines with a Paso-version of tertiary, where ripeness flaunts the borders of fruit to an oily dance.

I fell in love with the 2010 version of this wine some time ago and when I found a few bottles of the 2009, I acquired them–even though provenance was TERRIBLE. For such a new brand–and such limited production–I felt these older wines would be an interesting factor. Therefore, it is hard to say whether this wine has held up in normal fashion for such an extracted sample or is just plain cooked. If you’re into huge concentrated Paso Robles wines, it may feel quite normal, but to me it feels tired and waning.

In the mouth, it feels honestly like a wine several years past prime. Big nutty fruit and spice dither around in a pot of SERIOUS tannin, creating that classic Paso combination of too-ripe, too-extracted, too-everything which wows the fans and raises eyebrows on those of us used to the balance and streamlined fruit of Napa and Sonoma. Drying eucalyptus fill the finish, alongside all this raspy tannin which drag the jellied fruit along for the ride.  Completely drinkable and quite enjoyable, the flab and wrinkles on the fruit cause concern and I am glad I only have a couple of these left. Even at sub-15, it drinks almost like a dessert wine, but the tannin-fruit-gigantic-match in the finish tell a story of a well-made wine. Paso is a strange bird, and this (read the website) is a strange–and brilliant–bottling of pure Paso texture.

These are BRILLIANT wines, and I am still in love, it’s just: wines like this are typically showing age fairly deeply as they near 10 years old–and this is no exception.

2009 CALDERA CUVEE WINES *The Earth Speaks* Cab/ME/CF 48/36/16 Paso Robles California 14.9


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