Wine Review: Gabriele Rausse Rosso Virginia NV

gabriele rausseSometimes I buy a wine because it’s interesting; sometimes because it tastes good. This one is interesting. The nose has explosive spice notes—cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, which usually come from oak. But this wine is unoaked. There is some crazy extraction technique going on here that gives it that favor profile. Curious.

And it’s a blend of Bordeaux varietals, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot that almost always see some oak treatment. There is a reason for that. Time in oak barrels that slowly introduce oxygen into the wine helps to soften and integrate flavors and give the wine texture.

That is where this wine fails. The fruit upfront is fresh and juicy but green notes emerge midpalate which also features a sharp, hard texture introducing a course, disjointed finish. The components needed more time to learn to live together. This tastes like a shotgun marriage. But of course shotgun marriages are interesting, the stuff of legends, even when they don’t taste good.

This is either an experiment or some juice quickly brought to the tasting room to fill demand for wine. The price indicates the latter. Their line up was otherwise competent but this one caught my eye because it was different and when I spot difference I can’t help myself.

At any rate, I learned that you can get spice notes without oak and that naked Bordeaux varietals are like naked people—they better be beautiful.

Score: 84

Price: $16

Alc: Table Wine

Like a pretty face with a mean streak. A Strange Brew indeed:

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