Paso Speaks

I don’t buy a lot of over-ripe Paso wines, but occasionally one strikes me with potential, and this is firmly in that category. Tasted on release and somewhat blown away, and now almost a decade later, lets see where it went. Ridiculous amber brick headed easily into flat-out BROWN in a milky, sediment-ridden glass, a nose churning out decadent tertiary layers of leather and tobacco but laid on thick, still-vibrant cherry and berry. Granular in complexity, heavy calcareous substance and rocky verve display peaty dense concentration, lavish in funky ways headed pruney but thankfully stopping a bit shy. Still, the raisin-ey patina of bouquet contributes heavily to a chubby inability to stay tight with age.

Tasting it casts a fruit-fading glow across regions dominated with tertiary and alcohol but not necessarily in unpleasant ways. I know I’m being hard on this wine, but that’s what I do when something north of 15-oh graces my cellar for 10+ years. Sweet and rich–syrupy, almost–a dank brilliance of congealed structure casting definite beauty on all sides while maraschino and marzipan control the fruit. A spicy burn initially NOT attributed to alcohol welcomes the entry, posing plentiful acid against still-viral tannins but finally morphing to alcoholic heat in the finish. This is a gorgeous wine, one made with so much good stuff contained and rubbed down into its present amber presentation where the glories of all things ageable express themselves. Greenery and barky rumble coat the tongue, accompanied by the heroin of cinnamon and nutmeg worn hard by svelte asses in leather seats. Get on this guy’s mailing list and buy his wines. It’s hot, hard, stupidly-huge stuff: but in the grand scheme of paso cab, what are your alternatives? The grandiosity of Justin i-Sauce? the stupidity of Daou? the napafication at Serial or Hemmingway? This ranks up there with Calcareous York Mt in terms of gracious potential in light of ridiculous ABV and maceration. You’re gonna roll your eyes back into your head when you taste this wine, but it’s kinda in a good way.

2010 CALDERA CUVEE ‘The Earth Speaks’ Cab/ME/CF 45/30/25 Paso Robles 15.4

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