Paso Reserve

I purchased this at the winery after they came up on my radar and I made one of my extremely rare direct-visits to a Paso producer. A super-Tuscan blend from head-trained, dry-farmed cab and sangio vines in their front yard–from memory. Visiting it at ten explains easily why I was attracted. Nice amber brick in the glass, a ridiculously gorgeous nose of oak and leather–savory and spicy–over pungent rich cherry showing far more dusty eucalyptus, black pepper and creme de cassis than Paso can usually muster. Giant wafts of bright cinnamon and nutmeg are impossible to ignore: salted licorice and maple sugar and tiramisu and rich whipped cream over thick, briary decadence but with ZERO sluttiness.

Tasting it easily reflects one of the best aged-SLOco wines I have experienced. Gracious while biting, one of those perfect wines where tertiary has not over-come the fruit and structure neither. I want to say it is mostly cab, but man, there is a TON of sangio aspects to the body and overall texture completing the whole. The tannins are green and virile, pricking and drying the mouth in such a gently-violent fashion the rich background of berry has no trouble massaging. There’s not a FLAKE of chubbiness or rotund over-ripeness to be seen: everything calmly in its place for the long-haul. I think this could possibly be THE best wine from Paso Robles I have drank in my life. It ranks up there with only a couple others in memory: Chuck Ortman’s 97 black label Meridian cab… a 2006 Tablas syrah… an ’04 Gary Gibson… there’s only a handful. This has that steely finesse world-class wines contain, with obvious aspects pointing at nowhere NEAR at peak. This wine has literally decades to go. EVERYTHING is there. I’m afraid this is my last one, and if I had the option to buy again there would be 12 in my cellar.

2012 BELLA LUNA ‘Estate Riserva’ Cab/Sangio 55/45 Paso Robles 12.5

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