budget friendly california

Mouton Noir Thief in Law 2006

It was a dark and stormy snowy day, and for some inexplicable reason, I was reminded of the Mouton Noir Thief in Law 2006. I had picked up a bottle at a tasting I was at a couple of months ago after enjoying the bitsy sample. Founded in 2004, Mouton Noir Wines are a garage type winery headed by award winning winemaker and author Andre H. Mack. In 2003 he had the honor of winning the title of Best Young Sommelier in America, and in 2007 he was honored with a 40 Under Forty Achievement Award, just to name a few. I knew from the tasting that the bottle needs some time with the air, so whilst waiting, on a whim I decided to see if “thief in law” signified anything other than a questionable in-law, and I discovered [somewhat ironically since I was craving this bottle on a cold snowy day] that it refers to someone who obeys The Thieves Code. More specifically, someone with an elite rank in the Russian criminal underworld, similar to an Italian Godfather.  Clearly this only served to further heighten my enthusiasm.

Deep garnet with brick edges, after aerating aromas of raspberry and spicy black pepper rose delectably from my glass. The full body disclosed dense, yet refined black cherry and blackberry fruits that were interlaced with savory hints of leather and robust tannins. Rich dark chocolate, spicy licorice and wisps of smoke gratified in the lengthy, lingering finish. Big and bold on the surface, subtle complexity and velvety sips guarantee a swiftly depleted bottle.

Winemaker’s blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley
Bottled by Mouton Noir Wines, Calistoga, CA
14.5% Alcohol
$16 [for some reason I’ve seen it vary quite widely in price, most recently at $10, all the way up to $45]
Enjoy now thru 2013
*only 300 cases made

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