From an Across-the-Board Solid Lineup, a Champion Emerges

From an Across-the-Board Solid Lineup, a Champion Emerges

Posted on Jun, 16. 2011 by

Categories: Wine

Okay, look, we tasted 8 damned good wines last night from Margaux & Company. Real contenders, I say! But…

8 wines go in, 1 wine comes out.

Now, I won’t mince words: the wines were pricier than the recent budget wines that we’ve been seeing (summertime just somehow doesn’t lend itself to spending more than $25 on most stuff, for whatever reason). And they weren’t from big, well-known houses (which is a good thing, in my view, but I digress…), either. So what was this about? Well, we had a really cool showing of some of the biggest Sauv Blancs I’ve ever had (I didn’t know SB could be that massive and powerful), a really intriguing Viognier, some Pinot and Tempranillo that were full of energy and poise and ruggedness, a ~$35 Cab-heavy, euro-styled cuvee that deserves an email all its own…but the best we saved for last.

When we first opened the Longoria Blues Cuvee, it was almost too intense, too extracted…so brimming with nerve and power and potential energy, that I was a bit skeptical. I’ve had plenty of wines like this, I thought, wines that try to do too many things at once: try to be acidic and powerful and jammy and precise and zippy and brambly and bloody and funky, and end up just being a muddy mess of intensity and undelineated pieces and parts. So we poured this monster into a decanter, swished it around for a bit, and poured and poured. By the time I got back to it, it was almost 2 hours later. Whoah, what a difference a couple hours in a decanter makes! Suddenly, this is the definition of new world poise and old world classicity. A kitchen-sink blend made up of mostly Cab Sauv and Syrah, it reminded me of the great Napa Cabs in one breath, and of big, meaty merlot-heavy Bordeaux in the next. Very big, very structured, very elegant, prominent tannins and bright acid, perfumed and full of dark fruit, herbs and…and definitely at a level far above its price range.

I’ll just go ahead and say it: there’s no reason to be paying $50+ for mid-range Napa or Washington State Cab blends when this stuff is out there for less than $25; a challenger, a heavyweight. And the fact that it needed so much time to open up, the fact that it’s so full of power and energy and tannic structure, makes me honestly believe it’ll last another 5 years. But, on the other hand, it’s drinking so nicely now (after some time exposed to oxygen, of course), I’m not sure it’ll last that long in your cellar. In any case, here it is, your champ (and of course, the great Skip James):

2007 Longoria Blues Cuvee Santa Barbara County
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $22.73 • Premier Cru: $23.73 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $30.99
Buy Now!

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