Two in the Hand

Two Central Coast pure-Grenache beauties today: Paso and Santa Barbara, no saignée here, I think Steve Baker is Estrella District and the Nabor is Santa Rita Hills. The Paso with some age on it–something I get a bit of grief for, but I like the patina and these things age wonderfully. It’s not really intentional, they just BREED in the cellar as I try to get around to them. Nearly identical in color, the Spear a touch lighter–both a beautiful onion-skin orange–no #influencer-pink here. Drinking both mid-50’s. And no: I’m not going to drink this stuff out of an ice-bucket, because I like to TASTE my wine. And so should you.

The Circle B shows a dusty, latex-trimmed nose, a little bit drrrrty, all rhubarb and savory-fruited: pear and applesauce with peach-fuzz and wet newsprint–an almost chocolate edge glowing.

The Nabor is WINEY and shocking in bouquet: elegant caramel and bright plum sitting atop Thompson Seedless with plentiful earth anchoring the fruit. It feels chubbier, but considering the appelations represented: nearly impossible to believe. Somehow, it shows more *fermentation*, perhaps merely age and bottle-time at play.

The 7-YO comes off powerful and robust on the palate: fruit and acid vying for dominance. I’m not going to try and tell you the fruit is bright and fresh on this, as that would be futile to anyone who’s had older rosé’s. It’s crisp and delicious though, not the teensiest bit tired, all awash in pethrichor with sharp side-helpings of grit and strength. More pear-sauce and apple mold the mouth-feel, decadent with strength and aplomb, a considerable tannic feel still christening the finish. An absolute PERFECT wine.

The freshly-bottled Santa Rita Hills version is *bright* in different ways. It’s important to notice this is Dusty’s flagship label–and not the inexpensive NSO stuff: something you might expect something as simple as rosé to be marketed as. Steely patina over-shadows the fruit, however, while there’s a clamoring of fruit-concentration behind: putting this in play with serious lighter reds. It’s a mouthful, and honestly needs some time to settle down, as it feels dis-jointed and hollow in balance. The finish churns brash Vit C into a sweet memory.

2015 CIRCLE B VINEYARDS Rosé of Garnacha Paso Robles 13.4
2021 DUSTY NABOR Grenache Rosé Spear Vineyard Santa Rita Hills SBC 12.0

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