The Ruben bottling from The Withers is a blend of eighty-two percent Mourvèdre, twelve percent Syrah and six percent Grenache. The 2014 version comes in at 13.9 percent octane and delivers a fine, nascently complex bouquet of raspberries, hung game, pepper, garrigue, lovely spice tones and a bit of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and plenty ripe, with a plush core, fine focus and grip, ripe tannins and a bit of backend heat poking out on the long and potentially velvety finish. I would have loved to have seen this wine a half point lower in alcohol, as the heat on the finish diminishes my enjoyment of the wine just a bit, but in terms of depth, complexity and personality, this wine has impressive credentials. The 2014 Ruben is approachable today, but will be even better when the tannins have a chance to soften up a bit more. For those that like riper wines, add three points to my score. 2017-2035.
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