Quick thought here, and a quick post, at least that was my intent before I started typing. I receive so many wines in the mail that are hopelessly overworked, over-processed and frankly over-thought that it's refreshing to open a wine that is refreshingly... undressed.
The first bottle I opened tonight was a hopelessly oxidized Chardonnay from Sonoma County that smelled like coconut oil slathered over a white vinyl sofa. The second was a Cabernet from Paso Robles that smelled like Kaopectate. Let the record show that at least I did not stop there. I did not waiver, I opened up yet another bottle. God bless you California, I know you're capable of making a decent wine.
In a frustrated haze, I stumbled across another sample from L'Oliveto, a 2012 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It's not a world-beater, but by modern standards it's a remarkably honest, straightforward and praiseworthy wine, particularly because of its lack of artifice.
Anyway,.. I don't know who makes this wine. I don't know exactly where it came from. All I can say is that in my humble opinion, this wine has a sense of place in its mountain scrub, black olive, herb and currant flavors. The color is very deep, and it's certainly well-extracted, but overall it just comes across as a very 'real' wine, and I sense that there's a real intention at work in making it.
That's not to say that it's a brilliant wine. It's very good. It was also exactly what I needed tonight to revive my interest in California wine. Based on this effort, I would be interested in seeing what this winemaker or producer have to offer in the future. In other words, keep up the good work and don't let aimless fuckers drag you down the wrong path.
L'Oliveto Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Sonoma County