Justin Isosceles (375ML half-bottle) 2018
Full-bodied with ripe black cherry and blackcurrant fruit complemented with baking spice and oak notes on entry. Sustained fruit and spice are joined by savory autumn leaf, cedar and leather on the mid-palate with mouth filling, fine tannins that lead into a long, complex and balanced finish with attractive fruit, spice, cedar and subtle camphor notes. The 2018 vintage of Isosceles is a rare mix of boldness and finesse that makes it a great pairing with similarly gifted dishes like a classic herb crusted roasted rack of lamb, a grilled prime ribeye steak, or the exquisite cheeseburgers with tomato, arugula, bacon jam and chive aioli.
Blend: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9%, Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven Central Coast wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.