05 K Vintners, Columbia Valley Wahluke Slope Sundance Vineyard Syrah "The Deal"
The thing is, Charlie is, in fact, a pretty nice guy. But this wine tastes completely like an asshole. A syrah on steroid demiglace, this single-vineyard bottling comes from the hottest slope in Washington--south-facing, no less, from a vineyard called "Sundance," perhaps as close as we get in the New World to France's Martian Cote-Rotie. It's the kind of wine that will burn the hair off your head and implant it directly into your nipples. Brothy and beefy, smelling slightly of spoiled pork butt roast, it's actually rather reductive. Though I hate to point out technical flaws, the lack of oxygen that causes this taint almost seems to be less because of winemaking and more because how could anything, even air, pass through a wine this dense. After that rotten rubber aroma blows off, though, we're left with a familiar style--one teeming with black peppercorns, blackberries, licorice (the jellybean when you thought you put a red one in your mouth), three-day-old Bordeaux, and permanent marker. You season filets with this. Ah, yes, the classic flavor wheel. OK, maybe not by professional tasting standards, but I get the impression that this is the palate Charlie's usually going for. Big fruit mixed with big whatever-the-fuck-it-takes-to-get-that-fruit. The Deal is a reckless masterpiece, made for those drinkers who thought The Ramones was the greatest pop band of the 80s. Because loud and fast, as any New World wine lover knows, can still be pop. But punk doesn't play on the stereo. It doesn't have t-shirts, and it doesn't have fans. It's in a bottle, in a bin, believing in miracles because it is one.