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clos du bois marlstoneIf you’re wondering how over-oaked, overpriced Cabernet from Alexander Valley ages, well here is one data point.

This still shows dark ruby in the glass with plenty of flavor intensity but it’s mostly unpleasant. The nose is modestly interesting with dried cherry aromas supported by leather, cedar and some dank earth like a damp, mossy cave.

In the mouth it opens with  pleasant dried fruit but it’s downhill from there. The residuum of high toast oak has consumed any vestige of fruit turning the wine sharp and woody on the midpalate. The fruit has faded so the wine is unbalanced and acid driven with sour and bitter notes striving for supremacy. There is still some licorice and mocha to give you a hint of what a real wine should taste like, but this is now hard and rustic with an odd citrus quality emerging after aeration. Tannins are still supportive and fine grained but contribute to the unpleasant bitterness,

This blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and small amounts of Cab Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot was aged in 97% new French oak for 25 months. That is a lot of oak.

When young this wine had some complexity but the fruit has rapidly faded while tannins, acidity and oak remain robust. It’s decrepit but still angry, traits that might evoke grudging respect in a person but not in a wine.

Of course every wine ages as an individual. Perhaps it’s unfair to judge a cuvee based on a single bottle. But a 2004 Bordeaux-style blend should still be in its drinking window. Early reviews suggest trouble was already brewing.

This once-respected winery has been tossed around from one corporate owner to another over the past two decades. This is the result.

Megadeath’s Angry Again didn’t make it easier to drink.  I poured it down the drain anyway.

Opened: 4/23/2016, Storage conditions good.

Score: 78

Price: released at around $50

Alc: 14.5%