While the Zinfandel thing is over, and most are still staking claims on Rhone varieties ruling Paso, I often say I think Cab is going to be the ultimate legacy for the region. Basically the only thing I agree with Daniel Doau on–maybe for different reasons, maybe not. The west side is full of madrone and manzanita higher up and classical nut orchards below: everything the Napa Valley was and is. The only thing missing is hardcore volcanic, but the coastal sedimentary calcareous seems to do a bang-up job etching out these wines. The warm flatlands of bottom-soil of the east side seem also well-fitted for safe, hi-production versions. This wine is a grand example.
Showing a bit of brownish maroon in the glass, the depths a burnished deep ruby. A plush, rosy nose pitching out crazy-ripe fruit and tertiary a gorgeous glow of leather and licorice. A stunning nose, bringing all the best things about cab headed into a decade. A minty bite keeps everything un-flabby, and no obvious manipulations of ridiculous concentration–something plaguing many Paso cabs, including the previously-mentioned producer.
I HATE saying another region is “Napa-like”, but when the basically unilateral world-wide benchmark is there, comparisons come easy. This pulls off a Northern California patina to the variety rather well: dense and complex, concentrated and edged with dusty splendor. I don’t think there’s CF or PV in it: it feels so perfectly Cab-ME plush on the palate. Velvety while sparkling with acid, the generous tannins are likewise velvety LONG into the finish studded with dark cherry and blackberry. There’s a bit of heat, and I think we are comfortably north of 15-oh, but the restraint in concentration this wine shows MORE than makes up for it. Unlike many Paso Bordeaux offerings increasingly flirting with the $100-mark, this is still affordable, and unbelievably still available on their website.
2014 PER CASO ‘BDX Blend’ Cab/ME 65/35 Paso Robles 15.5