[Image: Bunch of Grapes]
Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1998 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

This is another of those odd imports by Randall Grahm of the Bonny Doon winery, who expresses his whimsical, nay, outright weird sense of humor on the labels and his love of wine in the contents. The contents of this one are full-bore Madiran all right, despite the allusion to Joseph Conrad's masterwork and the bizarre labels that appear to be lettered in blood (surely it's wine?) dripping from bullet holes.

Heart of Darkness 1995 Madiran ($9.99)
Inky dark reddish purple, with intriguing aromas of black fruit and floral notes with a "dusty" edge. Deep, brooding black-fruit flavor (the name fits) is laced up with lemon-tart acidity and a massive curtain of tannins that only the most overt fruit could punch through. Like virtually all Madirans, it will benefit from cellar time; even several hours' breathing in the glass didn't soften it much. All the parts are there, though, for a bargain price. Buy it, but hold it. Importer: Bonny Doon Vineyard, Santa Cruz, Calif. (Feb. 6, 1998)

FOOD MATCH: Homemade French onion soup and fresh-baked baguettes. The beefy, aromatic flavors of the soup made it a good match, and seemed to "wipe" some of the tannins.

All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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