RECOMMENDED: Tamás Estates, 2009 Double Decker Red (includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Barbera), Central Coast, CA. 13.5% ABV. Around $10.

This is an interesting wine with fun contradictions. Maybe that’s one reason they named it “Double Decker!”

First example: in the decanter, this big boy was nearly opaque and nearly black, yet in the glass, it was dark ruby-red with pink edges and clarity.

The second contradiction: how can a wine be both smooth and rangy at the same time? The taste is well-behaved with a spicy finish (at first) at the back of the palate, and the texture is smooth, but somehow there’s a big untamed quality to it at the same time. Steve Heimoff called the 2008 model “rustic and rugged” as he named it a Wine Enthusiast Best Buy.

The aroma offered up lots of fruit, cedar as it opened, some floral notes, and a thread (not even a layer) of musk in one or two whiffs. As it opened, the finish became nearly smooth as well, and this wine moved into the “Dangerously Drinkable” category. It’s very easy to toss this one back; do make the effort to swish and chew, lest you encounter Double Trouble.

Founded in 1984, Tamás is part of the Wente portfolio.

TECH NOTES:

Appellation: Central Coast

Varietal Content: A proprietary blend of red wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Barbera

Alcohol: 13.5%

Vineyard: The grapes were harvested from select estate vineyards in the Central Coast appellation, whose topography, soils and climate provide optimal growing conditions for these varietals.

Fermentation: The grapes were fermented in upright stainless steel tanks at a cold temperature to retain aromatics and fruit flavors.

Aging: The components of this blend were aged separately in a combination of neutral oak and stainless steel tank.

Description: At Tamás Estates we’ve made it our passion to fashion California wines in a style honoring their varietal heritage. With Double Decker Red we’ve taken it a step further by crafting an exciting blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Barbera to create an adventurously robust yet smooth red wine with mouth-filling flavors of blackberry, black cherry and plum, and a smooth, spicy finish. Hop on the bus for a multinational wine tour experience and stamp your passport for world taste. (This is nearly identical to what is on the label, so we didn’t include the usual “Label Notes.”)

WEB: www.TamasEstates.com

Sample received for review.

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