Play Windy For Me

Tiny little producer I was introduced to a few years ago from Monterey County–but NOT the MontCo we typically think of: Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco, Chalone and others. She’s down in the southern–more over-looked–region: around Lockwood, Jolon and the San Antonio Valley just northwest of Paso Robles. Popped into her tiny tasting room the other day–YES, manned solo by Marin herself–and scored some things which weren’t sold out.

Vivid medium ruby in the glass, staining and garnet-rimmed. Big unctuous nose, brush-fire smokiness and buttery citrus laid on creme de cassis and chalky mineral. Producing MontCo Cab as a boutique winemaker is a bold move, as most enthusiasts have written off the style attained long ago: massive amounts of extremely inexpensive, knee-hi bottles and boxes barely a notch above Modesto. But quality cab CAN be done–especially down in these warmer sections.

Thick and delicious in both bouquet and taste, this is a Cabernet NOT running Napa-wild or Paso-extracted. Far more in keeping with something you would expect from Mendocino, Sonoma, or Santa Cruz Mountains. It has an old-school profile *almost* throughout: a bit of heat the lone deviation. Spicy bruised cherry mingle chaparral and sage along dusty trails, a leathery note massaging ripeness into round splendor. Medium tannins of steely nature ease the fruit into the finish, where the proof is most apparent.

Get your hands on these wines. They’re unpretentious and well-made: decidedly solid examples.

2016 MARIN’S VINEYARD ‘Windmühle’ Cabernet Sauvignon Monterey Co. California 15.0

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