The name of Shinn Estate Vineyards 2008 Wild Boar Doe ($30) serves two purposes. It is at once a playful homage to the Bordeaux-style blend and also a food pairing tip -- because lean wild pork or venison would work beautifully with this wine.
A blend of 40% merlot, 23% cabernet sauvignon, 17% malbec, 15% petit verdot, and 5% cabernet franc, this medium-weight red shows complex aromas of licorice, white pepper, leaf tobacco and exotic spice interwoven with ripe blueberries and black currants.
Intense black-and-blue fruit highlights a somewhat rustic palate, along with an array of spices, licorice and a bit too much oak for my tastes. The tannins are lightly chewy and cottony, providing enough structure for at least short-term aging.
The finish is medium length and very peppery -- both black and white.
2008 was a cooler and often lesser year for reds, but the best wineries do good things even in years like those. This wine is a fine example.
(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)