The nose is pleasant, featuring briary earth, cloves, and a bit of cedar. The palate (i.e. kind of the whole point of opening a bottle) is a pretty big let down, however. Raspberry and blackberry predominate, flecked though with bits of black pepper and tar. The tannins are sharp and astringent, coating the tongue without offering much in the way of structure. The finish is short and a bit hot, as the 14.5% ABV makes a rather unpleasant appearance. After half an hour in the glass, the wine actually tasted flabbier and more alcoholic.
Spend the extra couple of bucks on a bottle of Gnarly Head.
(Oh, and a Silver Medal at SF's 2009 Wine Competition? Seriously?)
Total Value: 7/15