Sunday, January 19, 2014

2004 Used Automobile Parts

The winemaker is Richard Bruno. We met him, virtually, a few months ago, when we tasted his Vinum Cellars Petite Sirah. Used Automobile Parts is a relic of his days with 3 Loose Screws, a part of Don Sebastiani & Sons. This "Napa Valley Red Wine" is a blend of 45% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot, 15% cabernet franc, 12% malbec, and 3% petite verdot. (And why a tiny percentage of that grape -- of any grape? I'm told it's for the sake of color. We remember we also recently met the red-fleshed alicante nero or alicante bouschet, used to give color to Belguardo Serrata Maremma Toscana.) Ah so.

Used Automobile Parts, then:

Spice -- cinnamon -- plum jam
leather -- distinctive cedar-y note -- 
sharp kick of acidity at end
Very delicious, very California if I may say so. I think it's the cedar that seems to say both "Napa" and "expensive." It could accompany a heavy beef meal, but being of the "very California" style, I think it could also be and is perhaps meant to be a high-powered plum and cinnamon, stand-alone cocktail. Sip appreciatively. Retail, about $60.

Sebastiani and company like to experiment with unusual closures. They close their Hey Mambos and Plungerheads with the Zork, a plastic cap-cork sealed on with a thick plastic tear tab that is very difficult to remove -- with all due respect for innovation, I find the Zork the worst wine closure of all. Thankfully, Used Automobile Parts gets a glass stopper, which for my money is the best wine closure of all. Very sensible. No danger of cork taint, easy to deal with, elegant, unusual, and memorable.

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