Andrew Rich Mesalliance 2008
from Columbia Valley, Washington
46% Malbec, 46% Syrah, 8% Petit Verdot.
A misalliance (mésalliance in French) is a marriage of social unequals. The name came about when I blended 30% Merlot into the '98 Cabernet Sauvignon and could no longer label it varietally. It was my all-too-subtle dig at the inferior Merlot vis-à-vis the noble Cab. In 2005, after a brief hiatus, the Més was resurrected, now, ironically, a Merlot-dominant blend. With the 2008 we are witness to what might be thought of as a third marriage, Malbec and Syrah fully sharing conjugal duties, with just a little Petit Verdot to unite them in holy vinosity.
A deep velvety purple red is extremely enticing. On the nose this is all bright berries and violets, with perhaps a hint of pomegranate. The rich round mid-palate is quite succulent but not at all fat, the briar-fruit flavors accented with chocolate, leading into a moderately long velour finish. Quite suave and very drinkable now, the Malbec's acidity has nicely integrated but should allow the wine to age over the near term.
"Full ruby-red. Dark berries, chocolate and violet on the nose, with an aromatic suggestion of garrigue At once creamy and penetrating, with a firm edge of acidity leavening the sweetness of the berry flavors. Ungiving but not quite austere: this is much less open and easygoing than the 2007, which included a good bit of merlot to soften the blend. Finishes with building dusty, serious tannins and good peppery energy. I'd hold this for at least a couple years."
International Wine Cellar
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