Wine Review: Field Recordings Wonderwall Nebbiolo Happy Canyon 2020

wonderwall nebbioloNebbiolo makes a difficult wine, especially when young. It’s tannic, often ungenerous, but glorious when raised in the right place with just the right amount of age. Only Piemonte reliably succeeds at making great Nebbiolo. So what are the chances that a youngster grown in Santa Barbara’s Happy Canyon would show well?

Happily, my low expectations were well exceeded. This is a very nice wine, interesting, distinctive, and satisfying, with a little help from 25% Barbera.

And a good value.

The nose reveals black cherry, rose, orange zest, and crushed rock with a hint of damp wood providing an earthy contrast for the bright fruit .

In the mouth it’s medium bodied, soft and expressive up front with a flash of creamy viscosity before the midpalate turns lean, fresh and nimble, with a persistent seam of focused, juicy fruit. The firm, peppery tannins arrive late and give the medium length finish a stony texture marked by balanced tart acidity. There is no hint of overt oak and the tannins are under control.

It’s like a capricious friend, by turns warm then cold and clinical, but regardless of mood, it’s concise and incisive with no flab. It resonates with the deep bass notes and joyful anguish of “People I’ve Been Sad” by Christine and the Queens.

Notes: Field Recordings is a Paso Robles producer. Their Wonderwall series are made from grapes grown in extreme coastal locations. 8 months in oak, 50% French and 50% Russian.

Score: 91

Price: $20

Alc: 14.3%

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