Jacob’s Ladder

Easily the most streamlined, restrained and complex red I’ve had from this label to date, but again: kinda a mop-the-cellar-floor blend of not-oft matched components that make you go, Huh? But Paso LOVES their named concoctions, and this one works pretty well. Unlike the presentation of most blends, here the bookends seem to be the vague fillers, with the meat contributing most of the characteristic texture. Medium ruby in the glass, with a hint of garnet at the edge–but also feeling like some purple lurking. Nice, beautiful, clean nose, not over-ripe berry simple but varied, gorgeous musky floral and tight oak giving a tanned leather savory body to extremely focused cherry and blood-orange. The whole bouquet is uplifting and bright, all while not smelling cloyingly fruit-FWD or brashly young.

Tasting it follows nearly identical suit. Elegantly well put-together, it makes you wonder WHO sat down to the blending trials and went: “Oh hey, let’s get a barrel of Syrah and put some PV and ‘Bec in it!” Clean and tight on the palate, the fruit so perfectly encapsulated within the straining confines of structure the briar and mineral are difficult to discern from the acid and tannin. Raspy and dry–invigoratingly abrasive–pomegranate pith and black walnut toast nectarine-infused cherry with professional stoicism and velvet posture. Peppery hi-desert brush sets the tone for herbaceousness, and chalky chunks shed mineralific dust everywhere. Powerful tannin attempts to obscure the omnipresent berry, succeeding only in theory.

A STELLAR wine, despite my classical asterisks to ingredients. Beautifully put together and absolute no-brainer Thanksgiving wine. Get plenty for the cellar though. This is an EASY *buy a case–drink one a year* candidate. Something I rarely say for Paso wines.

2018 DUBOST ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ SY/PV/Bec/GR 40/25/25/10 Estate Adelaida District Paso Robles 14.0


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