Opaque black in the glass, barely thinning to purple at the extent of the rim. Heady ripe fruit, gobs of syrupy cherry with warm, round waves of alcohol, oak and stewed Christmas spices flowing off it. A bit dessert-y for me, but in the grand scheme of marketable Cabs lately–and what the 99 desire–definitely falls into the *delicious* category. It has that chubby rotund *thickness* in the nose which will surely translate to body: a glycerin-y concentrated affair smelling more ripe than nuanced. Decanted heavily.

Things look up a bit on the palate. An invigorating spice and acid come hand-in-hand with the succulent fruit on entry. It’s SO big, so ripe, with distilled cherry and ridiculous blackberry maceration pretty much the single-dimension, with the bite of structure providing the only counter-point. Such is the vast majority of Paso Cabs. They’re debatably good wines: yummy and thick, black and concentrated, steeped in dark fruit and phenolic splendor, but that’s about it. This one benefits from grating Meyer Lemon sweet-acidity–beautiful for lemon-drops and whiskey-sours, but terrible for margaritas and tacos. The roundness on the tongue feathers itself down into a semblance of earthy, but it’s still just crazy-ripe cab. I hate to throw the whole region under the bus, but contemplating this wine in front of me leaves me nearly helpless to not pigeon-hole. This is a fine example of Paso cab–one of the best I’ve had–and I have often penned that Paso will be known in the long-run for Cabernet rather than Rhone–and before that: Zinfandel–but the chubbiness and lack of complexity still troubles me.

2017 RANGELAND WINES Cabernet Sauvignon Adelaida District Paso Robles 15.1


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