niner There is nothing wrong with a one-trick pony if it does the trick really well.

This friendly, refreshing blend of Syrah, Cab Franc, Petite Sirah, and Carmenere  is all about the oak and the results satisfy despite being a bit one-dimensional.

An intriguing mix of red and black berries introduce the nose. The fruit is forward but stops short of Paso Robles jam when the smoke and caramel take over mid-palate. Sweet, charred wood is the dominant flavor note set off by mellow earth tones that become more prominent with some air.

The palate is stout but polished with plenty of crisp acidity that really stands out on the short finish, burying the soft, reticent tannins in a pungent tang.

Concentrated and full of flavor, the fresh, burnished texture plays well with the high-toast oak but the finish lacks grip.

2184 Cases produced, 14.8% alcohol

Price: $25

Score: 88/100