I'm a bit of a grump with Californian wines; it seems I've had a bad run of them lately. But as long as it's someone else's bottle . . .
My buddy was feeling generous, and we gathered one evening to drink some Napa cab with a bit of bottle age. I was tempering my expectations, but still looking forward to it. We had finished eating dinner (featuring a gracefully presented seigo sashimi), and with a plate of casalingo salami, I was ready to go.
A little measure of redemption. Dark, but not inky, showing full saturation. Pure fruit on the nose, deep and tense; ripe and slightly jammy, but retains a freshness. Alcohol sticks out a bit, showing primary fruit on the palate. As we kept drinking over a few hours, the fruit became sweeter, rounder, but remaining finely structured. Drinking well in fact, and it answered some of the questions I had about Napa cab.
This wasn't a trophy wine, by any means, but these wines seem to all show that same style. Lots of primary fruit, that never really develops any secondary characters. Of course, this is hardly an older wine, but the fruit is jammy, and beginning to fall off at the finish. Does anyone really expect it to get any more exciting? I wouldn't expect this wine to develop much more. But that's not really the point is it. These wines are for people who like big, jammy, flabby fruit. No subtlety, but at least the alcohol doesn't blow your head off. It'd just be nice for a $50+ wine to show just a little bit more nuance.
But then again, it's easy to criticize wine you didn't pay for.