A couple of years ago, I went for a holiday in Northern California. It wasn't a wine holiday, just a normal one, but I did wind up touring some of the wineries in the Sierra foothills. The most interesting of the bunch was Chateau Routon (geddit?), a horse farm and winery that specialised in fortified wines (port style) and a few table reds. They also had ice cream.
They describe this as a 'Cask Port', which we all know is incredibly naughty. It's a bend of Touriga Nacional and a couple of other Port varietals and aged in cask for two years before bottling.
Candied blueberries with smoked bacon, fresh spearmint and maybe a touch of gun smoke on the nose.
The palate is rich and spicy with all those candied fruits and savoury notes from the nose coming through nicely. There's a circular, rounded structure to the tannins. This is still very young and certainly needs a bit of time, but it's actually fairly delicious at the moment. Quite earthy, too.
Tasted on Crawford Gardens, Summer 2010