Paso Speaks

Here’s a little oddball from Paso… Pretty much mailing-list only, details a little vague… an email newsletter a couple times a year just signed “Sammy”. I know where it is made and most of the winery-associations of the winemaker, and also a pretty good idea where the fruit comes from: up on the Westside mountains around Justin. But that’s pretty much it. Not cheap, but MANY bottles from Paso Robles have passed it handily in price in the past decade. Big, heavy tailored and waxed bottle, and a fairly bad label–all glossy and orange and hard to read with its reverse print. But we’re not here to talk about packaging.

Dense garnet with a decent brick going on here at 11. Nose very expressive with sharp fruit all distilled down in classic Paso density and ripeness, and, like most wines made in this fashion, showing a bit of porty-ness at this age. The cherry is dark and sultry, the berry a grainy preserve, the heavy tertiary blossoming the bloody tincture down into a heavy syrup with spicy armchair notes dank and lovely. Unlike most Paso offerings at this PP and provenance, the oak is well out of sight–although considerable oak-AGING is apparent. There IS a difference.

Polished and beautiful in the mouth, the pond-water murky salinity of the nose as you inhale the first sip mixing seamlessly with the taste. This is no size-0 supermodel with hip-bones protruding: This is straight up Veronica Zemanova curves and poise, every inch a statuesque natural beauty, posing in complete confidence and classic beauty–voluptuous with well-held softness framing solid lines. The fruit has reduced to an almost-sweet nuance: toasted nuts and pure vanilla, sarsaparilla, chaparral and maraschino. Pipe tobacco drifts across forbidden Los Angeles sidewalks in a rare downpour, cavitating easily to liqueur-addled tannin probably longer-lived than the fruit–but that’s a tough call.

Look this dude up and order a couple bottles. It will be THE conversation-point at your next tasting. I guarantee it.

2009 CALDERA CUVEE ‘The Earth Speaks’ cab/ME/CF 40/36/16 Paso Robles 14.9

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