Sunday, June 23, 2013

Alpha Box & Dice 'Blood of Jupiter' 2008 Sangiovese Cabernet (McLaren Vale)

Higher alcohol does not preclude balance in sangiovese, but can make it hard to present a wine that tastes varietal. Which can be no big deal, if what you are aiming for is something other than varietal expression.

The 2008 blend of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon from Alpha Box & Dice rolls in at 15.4% alcohol. Whether dictated by the hot vintage McLaren Vale experienced in 2008 or a set of conscious choices I do not know, but the ripeness level is all here. The dominant impression is cherry cough syrup (Brondecon, to be precise), which kicks up into a spirited lift of cherry brandy at the end. Dark fruits all the way along.

Tasted blind, this seemed like a durif, with zinfandel as a second choice. Acid, tannin, structure and shape - none of these are what the wine is about. What you do get is a big pulse of soft, warm flavour. Would work for some, but I am not one.

Cork, gift, 15.4% alcohol, $30-35.

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