As mentioned in my previous post, the Goddess of Wine had serious palate fatigue after a delightful lunch at Pomar Junction. As is often the case, JD steps in to take up the slack. Here's the First Acolyte's account of the Paso Robles CAB Collective's Rare and Reserve tasting!
After a delicious lunch and tour at Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery we returned to the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. After a brief look around, the Goddess decided she needed to conserve her energy, so on I went. I did not sample all the wineries pouring that afternoon, but most did seem to be back again for this stage.
Bon Niche Cellars - Voûtes (Arches): Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon red blend; 2010 L’Entrée (The Entry), Malbec. Definite Anise; 2009 Petit Verdot. The initial nose was petroleum but it sure did NOT taste like that. Rich fruit, very drinkable. Straight Petit Verdot can be a nasty wine, but this was one of the wonderful examples of what can be done with it. Perhaps the warm weather in the Paso Robles area allowing the grape to come to full ripeness reduces those intense bitter green vegetable notes that can happen with Petit Verdot, as can also occur in a slightly different fashion in Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2010 was even smoother.
Calcareous Vineyard - Interestingly, another 2009 Petit Verdot but with a nose slightly musty? Very smooth on the palate with some tannins on the finish. Can still go for a while.
Eberle Winery - 2003 Reserve Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with some good herbal/veggie notes. 2007 Love and Kisses red blend, chocolate notes. 2009 Reserve Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with rich dark berry, mocha hints.
Hammersky Vineyards - The fun owner himself, Doug Hauck, poured a couple of his delicious wines. First was a nice changeup of 2010 100% estate Zinfandel. Raspberry and peppery spice. Then his 2007 “Limited Resources” Cabernet Sauvignon having a delightful blend of dark cherry, cinnamon and earthiness with a very mellow long finish.
Hunt Cellars - David Hunt has a distinctive style in his wines. One of his techniques is letting them age a long time before release. I wish I had managed to sample his En Primeur pouring on the previous day to get an idea of what his wine is like early on. 2004 “Rhapsody in Red” Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend. To me thick textured with dark fruit; 2007 “Red Velvet” Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend with similarities to the previous but without the chocolate notes of the Merlot and with more of the Cab Franc pencil shaving hints; 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon "CabOvation”. I was getting floral notes in the nose with more of the thick texture and dark fruit tastes.
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines - A trio from their Cuvée POM series was being poured. These are Merlot based blends inspired by Pomerol on the right bank of Bordeaux. Each of the three had different proportions depending on what was best from that particular year. 2006- Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Rich fruit, mouth feel quite smooth. 2007-Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Petit Verdot. Earthy, barnyard nose also with a rich fruit and smooth texture with a bit more tannic finish. My favorite of the trio. 2010- Also Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc but in different proportions. Rich red fruit and spicy ending.
Le Cuvier Winery - Houston Smith, business manager and a certified sommelier, was pouring a 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon. 2001 was a great year for the Paso area and this representative was no exception with earthy, barnyard nose, delicious fruit and spice taste. I also had a very informative discussion with Houston, learning more about what the diurnal temperature shifts bring to the development of grapes. The short version is hot days for sugar and cool nights for acid.
Le Vigne Winery - Stopped by the table and thanked winemaker Michael Barreto for the wonderful meal the previous evening at the winery. Since I was at the table I had to sample the 2006 Nikiara Meritage he was pouring, just to see how it compared with the 2007 that was poured at the dinner. Good cinnamon spice notes in the middle of the bright berry/cherry/sage. Yep, it compared nicely.
Parrish Family Vineyard - Stopped by the table and told David Parrish how much we enjoyed the seminar in the morning. Of course since I was there I had to sample the 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon he was pouring. It had full fruit with tangy spice midway. Enough tannins still present to go another 10 years, David thinks. In keeping with the geekiness of the seminar, this estate grown vintage was a blend of Clone 4 and Clone 6. “The Clone 4 is the foundation of the wine, having perfect acid levels and deep, rounded tannins. This allows the Clone 6, with its great structure and bold fruit forward taste of black cherry and plum, to play out a perfect symphony.” I think 4 and 6 added up to an enjoyable 10 for me.
Peachy Canyon Winery - Winemaker Terry Culton was back again, this time pouring a 2007 “Para Siempre” Bordeaux-type five grape blend. Concrete aged with earth and tobacco in the nose and baking spice tastes. Pleasantly light.
Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery - I did not stop at the table for the 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon but had enjoyed it earlier poured from a magnum at the picnic lunch at the winery. Delicious smooth balanced fruit. Great to sip when touring a winery and vineyard.
Red Soles Winery - Poured an award winning 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon. Gentle red fruit taste. Long time farmers, their Cab is balanced and very easy to drink. No sharp edges.
Robert Hall Winery - Poured the 2001 100% estate Cabernet Sauvignon. This was another fine example of that great 2001 vintage in Paso. My notes say “Really good fruit blend.” ‘Nuff said.
Thanks to JD for his tasting notes!