I’ve met many winemakers. They are an inspiring lot, willing to wear as many hats as required to bring their babies to market. That is essentially how they feel about their labor once corked, labeled, boxed, and being loaded onto a truck—sending their babies out into the world hopefully to be loved.
The good ones hopefully succeed, but not always; some are overlooked, the bad ones weeded out and tagged as losers, and the process starts over. But what happens when you have succeeded as winemaker, your wine is great; in fact, it has arrived at its destination ready to be sold—and finds itself being held hostage by a grouchy old Fraulein with a sharp tongue and dominatrix-like impulses? This is just something no winemaker can prepare for—and precisely the situation a lot of bottles of Pat Green Estate find themselves in today.
I managed to rescue of one bottle before being driven off the premises, which you can read all about in the epic post, Wines by George: The Winter Offensive.
From my tasting notebook:
Artful and subtle—but just at first. A perfect mixed nose of raspberries, plum, apple, and sweet white cherries. A hint of old tin and the unmistakable aroma of sweat and cold air—like a light jog on a cold night.
Very musky and resolutely silky. Shows a readiness to grow in strength with exposure, developing a delicious waxy texture that feels almost grippable between the teeth. The sweet apple and melon flavors on the finish don’t outweigh the polished red berries but are uniquely notable. Tannins play a supporting role, ‘integrated’ in wine lingo—like stage hands dressed like ninjas pulling ropes at just the right moment so the stars can win the audience on cue.
I am not much of a rating man, but I would easily be wooed into the 93/94-point range. There is so much to be said for Estate wines, which sometimes, but not always, bridge the gap between a non-site specific introductory product and elusive single vineyard selections that carry big scores and price tags. They speak true of a winemaker’s skill, carry the brand torch, and essentially bear the task of convincing a buyer to charge deeper into the winemaker’s portfolio. Go after these wines if you’re looking to learn something.