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scholium bechtoldFormer college professor Abe Schooner, winemaker and proprietor of Scholium Project, has this natural winemaking thing wired. He’s been doing it since 2000. This is a gorgeous, elegant 100% Cinsault sourced from Lodi’s Bechtold Ranch Vineyards.

Intriguing, pretty aromas of focused cherry cola, rose, and freshly turned earth, a feral truffle note resounds like a minor chord that ends the harmony.

Shy and demure at opening, layering develops quickly with mineral on top of soft, mouth-coating, supple fruit. Exquisite, fine grained tannins begin their influence at midpalate giving the wine volume and texture despite its light weight. The minerality is eager and quick, ferried by well-tamed acidity, the fruit serene, contentedly awaiting the rhythmic flair of the tannins which drive the well paced finish, the persistent fruit receding to a spectral,, haunting presence.

Elegant and poised, in perfect balance, this is a literate wine, cultured, sophisticated, spirited but cool and aloof. A fitting match for the feral sophistication of Steely Dan’s Josie.

Technical Notes: Extended, floating cap fermentation with a minimum of punchdowns and no pumpovers. Press and free run juice is aged separately for two years in neutral oak.

Score: 93

Price: $25

Alc: 12.81%