Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Revolution In A Bottle

Just in from the western bloc, the terse message concerns Contra 2012, "a contrarian blend of mostly old-fangled grape varieties from mostly older vineyards located primarily in Contra Costa County." This adverb-riddled communique bears the unmistakable mark of CEO Randall Grahm, President for Life at Bonny Doon Vineyards. The presidential flair continues during his address to the troops in which he awards a purple heart to "a field blend that counter-intuitively contravenes convention." Alcohol hits 14.1% abv, while Grahm's wordplay scores considerably higher.

Contra. The ragtag grape militia is headed up by General Carignane 56%, Major Syrah 17%, Lieutenant Grenache 15% and Sergeant Mourvèdre 11%, followed by the grunts, Cinsault, one percent.

The extremely dark wine is aromatic with blackberry, black currant and plum. A whiff of tar sneaks in late. Flavors of dark fruit sit embedded in oak spice and feisty acidity with all the tannins needed to fight off the fat power of a heavily marbled steak.  It won't pull a sneak attack - it flashes its weapons upon the loosening of the screw cap, referred to as a Stelvin closure in the dossier.

The rebels hoist the wine in defiance of those for and against. Who knows which side is right. May as well keep all options open. Meet the new boss. Smoke 'em if you got 'em. Ten-four good buddy.


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