Delightful & Strange Reserve 2018 | Raising the Bar, Lowering the Price
If you are familiar with the wines of Delightful & Strange, or if you love intensely rich, epicurean wine experiences, I invite you to enjoy the sumptuous decadence of this Delightful & Strange Reserve 2018. As for the turtle emblem on the label? Simple: it is a firm, surprisingly muscular red, and will live a lot longer than you’d guess. This is the slow-aged tortoise, that beats the quick-release hare.
Delightful & Strange Reserve 2018 presents a deep purple color that has an almost electric intensity. Lusciously ripe blueberry, pomegranate, and blackberry aromas are joined by a complex array of vanilla, mocha, star anise, and tilled earth. Big but not heavy, the wine shows firm but rounded tannins. Blackberry and black cherry flavors mingle with hints of five-spice, toast, and a touch of mintiness that all linger on the finish. Drink now – 2025.
Delightful & Strange – The story
The Delightful & Strange Reserve 2018 packs the same star-studded pedigree as its five-star predecessors, drawing from multiple 96- to 99-point winery sources, whose own releases command prices up to $200 per bottle. But this delivers the dark-fruited elegance, muscled power, and wild complexity of Napa’s finest at the best price ever for a Delightful and Strange release.
Because of Robert Emery’s deep relationships throughout the Valley. And with a little help from 2018’s bumper crop—many growers had extra fruit to offer. So, Robert was able to put together this stunning proprietary red at an exceptional price. There was just one problem: the entire production only amounted to eight barrels of wine. All told, it was an all-star blend that would’ve made any 100-point winemaker jealous. Juicy blueberry, pomegranate, and blackberry mingle with freshly tilled earth, mocha, star anise, and five-spice. Big, but not heavy; luscious and ripe, but simultaneously vibrant and fresh.
It’s who you know…
So, our relationships with growers and vintners in the valley led us recently to two lots from Saint Helena and Oakville. In years when these wines are bottled, they fetch between $135 and $200 each at the winery. In our possession, blended together, they are something beautiful to behold in this Delightful & Strange Reserve 2018, which after some additional bottle age is ready to enjoy—loaded with generous blackberry, pomegranate, cocoa, and toast, wrapped in a firmly tannic shell and beautifully balanced.