Bright ruby, moderately staining, with thin pink edges. An elegant cinnamon dances around cut grass and dump-run, salt-spray and coal dust. Floral and oak meld perfectly against the Paso depth, making it the most interesting thing from Paso Robles you have smelled this year.
Cooking a big hearty lentil stew I told myself I wanted something funky yet round. Old-world and rich. Considered it for a while and hadn’t decided. My mind went through all my Malbecs, and Sangioveses… nothing jumped out. I pretty much had my mind set on a Riesling when I rounded the corner, saw–and remembered–this and instantly grabbed it and walked out. PERFECT! Walked into the new tasting room a few weeks ago because I was in town and bored, wanted to support their endeavors, but completely expecting my usual dynamic with Paso tasting rooms: absolutely un-wowwed, smiling awkwardly through horrid flabby lifeless wines over-wrought and riddled with VA, excessive oak, burnt ripeness and–always–too much alcohol and NO acid. I could not have been more wrong about Cromavera.
From the first sniff of the Albariño and rosé, I knew we had something different on our hands here. Moving on to the first red, a ridiculously young, vibrant Tempranillo (reviewed here), this whole operation clearly was cut from a different cloth and deserved attention. Don’t get me wrong, there are very clear signs of Paso being involved here. A background richness and ripeness is impossible to ignore, but they meld a perfect Old-World funk, crazy forward fruit and vitality into this richness, creating a wine balancing all acts.
In the mouth, cedar dust on Kalamata-covered chocolate, perfectly rich and perfectly thin, never cloying, never too rich or too thin, acid screaming in from all sides. Omnipresent is a bitter side of burnt rubber, black pepper and pretty peach-pit. A slight heat accentuates the pepper in the finish but the fruit never takes a break, start-to-finish. I guessed a couple points higher than stated, but after checking the label: Could this be the lowest-alcohol-red in Paso?
This is my new pet Paso Robles winery, producing EXCLUSIVELY Spanish varieties–largely from Kiler Canyon in the Templeton Gap–and wines modeled after those from that country. This Ribera del Duero inspiration is a brilliant Temp-Garnacha-Cab with a year of oak. A winery which needs to be on your short-list of visits or buys, as it represents THE most exciting wines I have seen from Paso in some time. Just released a few weeks ago, give this bottle a couple years to settle down and you will have a GEM. That is: If you can keep your hands off it.
2015 CROMAVERA Revelación Red Wine Temp/GR/Cab/PS Paso Robles 14.0