Clos du Bois – 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
There are a very few wines that I truly allow to breath and air the way that they ought to in order to get the fullest extent of their flavor. I say this in full candor, and not because I am somehow ignorant of the charms of fully aerated wine, but rather because I enjoy wine too much, and I am typically not nearly patient enough to actually stand by and allow a wine to open up the way that it properly should.
When I pop a cork, I am ready to partake. That is all that there is to it. By the second or third glass, often the wine has breathed sufficiently to achieve the appropriate levels of nuance and flavor that it is known for. I am also, by this time, more receptive to the intricacies of what I am drinking.
In another completely candid moment, I very seldom see the marginal difference in an hour of opening up as being worth an hour without wine. Sometimes the wine is significantly better after it breaths, sometimes it is not. In my favorite wines I know this time table and adjust my drinking accordingly, but in new wines, it is something of a hit or miss, and in truth I enjoy some of the subtleness that builds up as I sip.
I mention all of this as something of a lead in towards my current review – the Clos du Bois 2013 Cabernet.
Never have I enjoyed a wine that has had such a marked difference between when it is freshly opened and when it is finally finished. My first glass, quite literally, left a bad taste in my mouth. I pulled the cork and began to sip after an admittedly shortened interval, and was greeted with a sour, doleful flavor that was nothing like what I have come to expect from my beloved Cabernet grape. This was something of a cross between a pinot noir (with none of its smoothness) a merlot (though without the hearty body) and a beaujolais nouveau – which has no redeeming quality that would recommend it. To say I was disappointed is something of an understatement. I winced my way through the glass only as an accompaniment to the meal I was having, and then only because I needed something wet.
I am, however, not one to waste alcohol, and as Lisa Birnbach will tell you, thrift and frugality are hallmarks of prep-dom, so I corked the bottle and resigned myself to finishing it off the next day. I am glad that I did.
What was once sour, harsh, and raw, became smooth, sweet, and overall quite pleasant.
The body didn’t improve, but was never all that much of an issue to begin with. The nose gave off the dark fruit and cherry aromas that I have come to enjoy from a cabernet. The flavor, however, opened up and blossomed. It was sweet, without any saccharin tones like some hypersweet wines tend to display. It was smooth and round, with a good mouth feel, and had a lingering softness with just a touch of tannin on the back end.
This was not an outstanding wine, by any means, and I don’t mean to compare it to the Monte De Oro’s, Beringers, or J. Lohr’s that I use as benchmarks for excellent but affordable wines, but it was quite good. If the price is right, then I would certainly purchase it again – if for no other reason than to allow it to once again open up and show its true colors.
Overall rating 6… maybe a 6+