Sunday, May 6, 2012

Updated Rating: ***+ $ Stone Briar Classic Red, California, 2007 - Wine Review (GOOD VALUE)

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Initial review, by way of background, December, 2010: This is Stone Briar Classic Red, California, 2007, finished at 13.% alcohol.  It is an offering from the Wine Insiders service, and is a California Wine Club Selection.  It is a cabernet franc-based red blend, called a "meritage" in some parts.

In the glass: Stone Briar shows as medium deep, rustic red throughout.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this red blend sports a shy nose, mostly of plum and oak, bringing bright tones overall. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are tangy blackberry in the mid-palate, showing bright raspberry acids around the edges (though not with the raspberry flavor).  Finish is fast, with a hint of cocoa coming in with the closing acids that lodge the flavors in your upper cheek and gums.

In summary: Overall, rates two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its light, easy-going food-readiness.  Great picnic wine, and good value at its bargain price.

With a longer decant, one day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Still a bright red, raspberry/mineral oil tone to the nose.   The mid-palate has smoothed out, ripening the overall blackberry-style structure and flavors.  No hint of oxidation, and slightly improved balance overall with the longer decant time.

Updated review, over a year later, May, 2012:   Consistent color and aromas.  Softer and sweeter in the palate,  with blackberry and oak at the finish.  Broadly balanced, full and rich.  Now a full three stars with a plus for concentration.  Awesome value, now at five years from vintage date. Following long, full-day decant: Sweet purple ink in the nose now too. Nicely balanced and aromatic on the palate.

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  1. very well said.. I bought this for the price.. not a great wine.. nothing you would show off, but it really does taste better after aeration. the alcohol is only 13% but tastes more like 15%. I like the blackberry finish.

  2. The worst wine I had in teh last 20 years - it's not even a 1-star - it's a step above vinegar.