Clearly Grenache in the glass. Nice ruddy glow and medium-transparent. All the lovely olive and roasted pepper in the nose, slathered thick on a foundation of oak and pungent herb tea. Peat and graphite clamor for attention beneath the stemmy ripe blackberry doing its best to stay out of jam-jail.
Dark goldenrod with enough sediment to produce a haze. A quick refrigeration and careful handling solidifies them around the punt, so don’t be alarmed. Ridiculous gardenia, jasmine and natal plum crash luau butter, zesty skin and rich oak. Why am I drinking these wine backwards? Because the Viognier is a bigger wine, and I can do what I want.
So I literally have no idea who Dusty Nabor is. But enough people say his name with a reverence typically associated only for those with incredible sports prowess or who did something unforgettable while on shore-leave in the Navy. It is with a near 50-50 mix of disappointment and relief I learn it is squarely the former–or GOOGLE just hasn’t gotten ahold of the latter. The closest thing I found to skullduggery was numerous stays in Baja, furiously racing the wheels off anything that had them. I’ve been to Baja enough to know there might be some skeletons there. Stay tuned.
In the mouth, beautiful wet chalkboard, graphite and peat measure out precise amounts of cranberry-plum, never overwhelming. It’s a big wine–don’t get me wrong–but the meagerness alongside some other Paso Grenache’s I have tasted tell me this thing was made with an eye towards restraint. I’m going to guess really low 13’s, because the peppery burn is acid and feathery tannin–and not alcohol. This is no hollow wine though. Grenache can plump up the deal in fine fashion–throwing fruit and decadent jam in all directions–without becoming pancake syrup. It’s a beautiful grape, and this is a beautiful example of it.
Going back to the Viogner is like slicing dessert. I was just at Hospice du Rhone and encountered some Condrieus and Marsannes that slithered around a pole but this thing: THIS thing would slip the clothes off ANYBODY. Voluptuous barely begins to retain relevance in language once you start working your tongue around the fleshy nooks and crannies of this one. Baby-soft and eye-crossingly curvy, the clean acid of the finish completely trumps the oak, but that wilted tropical fruit from the entry–sweaty and sticky–never quite leaves the imagination. Would she?
Dusty Nabor is has taken on wine, and he’s doing it in fine fashion. Paso Robles fruit, made in Los Angeles. I also had the opportunity to enjoy the Cabernet, sourced from primo Paso fruit and limited to mailing list. These wines are so limited, mailing list is basically the ONLY way to get some. I highly recommend it.
2017 DUSTY NABOR Viognier ‘The Florist’ Ballard Canyon Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co 12.8
2016 DUSTY NABOR Grenache ‘Paper Plane’ Paso Robles California 12.8