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Cleaning out the back stock of my store’s cellar I found a few skeletons in the closet, wines virtually abandoned by other specialists to make room for faster moving wines on the shelf, or just bringing in something that they were more comfortable selling. In some cases labels were damaged or missing and the previous buyer had forgotten to request credit from the issuing companies. A lot of this sad bunch seemed to pine for the fluorescent lights again, begging to be given another chance. After rummaging through these forsaken bottles, I decided to speed up the cleaning process, making room for a few of these misfits, and purchasing a single seven-fifty of 2007 Lush Red Wine for myself to lighten the inventory. I was interested in finding out why another buyer had given up on a few of these bottles.

If I am painting this with a forensic brush, it was only modestly dramatic since there was an air of uncertainty that I was only willing to gamble on so much. The 2007 Lush red wine was just under ten dollars after discount and I felt okay about the investment. The label had some minor wear but otherwise depicted the optometrist’s eye chart unscathed, illuminating the wine’s name in big red letters. I knew relatively nothing about it other than at least 75% of the grapes—which were not identified—came from Napa Valley and that 95% of the contents were from the 2007 vintage based on American wine laws.

When I finally uncorked the bottle later and poured a bit into my glassware for a whiff. I was looking to see if the wine was faulty but it was technically sound. The aromas were pleasant, loaded with blackberries, cherry, and huckleberry before notes of tobacco and baking spices seized my olfactory. The bouquet was impressive but not until I took my first sip did the fireworks take place. Ripe Bing cherries, blackberries, spices, some meat were all found. It was shocking to have an unpresuming wine light up my mouth like the fourth of July in Washington D.C. but that is exactly what happened. Wines at twice the price sometimes fail to hit their intended target but this red was balanced, with decent acidity and a thorough (medium +) finish.

Happy to have made the play on the nearly ten dollar red wine, it gave me some confidence on possibly buying other bottles of interest that had been forgotten in the cellar. It is nice to find value in a bottle when you are least expecting it.

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