Herman Story, Late Bloomer, Grenache 2015
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Always one of the most hilarious yet sweet labels of the year, this bottling begins with loads of clove, black-cardamom cream, crème brûlée and tiramisu on the nose, alongside deep black plum and black cherry. The palate carries that forward, with thick and full flavors, from black cherry to exotic vanilla bean, ending with a flash of leather.
Late Bloomer is the late draft pick that emerges as a scoreboard leader. It is comprised of a selection of lots that Russell babies for 3 years in a back corner of the winery. Aged without stirring or racking and topped every 2 weeks. The gangly kid on the label is a wine club member whose photo was selected by a panel of “experts” out of a hundred or so submissions from around the globe.