International Wine Cellar | 93(+?)
($75; 52% syrah, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 8% petit verdot) Opaque purple. Intensely perfumed aromas of dark berries, flowers and minerals, with a strong mocha undertone. Spicy cassis and blackberry flavors are sharpened by graphite and cracked pepper, picking up dark chocolate and licorice on the close. Leaves a vibrant, spicy impression on the long, juicy finish. This put on weight and gained sweetness with air; I'd give it at least five years of cellar time. Asseo mentioned that he is not following the current trend of experimenting with extended barrel aging for syrah (a practice most commonly associated with Guigal for their top Cote-Roties). "In the northern Rhone they need to soften their syrah, but we don't need to do that in Paso Robles," he told me.
Professional content appears courtesy of Vinfolio
Drink Dates: 2008-2012
Inky black and drinking like 60-weight motor oil; still, it has the complexity and structure to maintain its balance. Huge, huge bouquet; teeth-staining dark robe; thick, glycerine legs; but just the right amount of tannin for grip. The Petit Verdot is really prominent now, something I find appealing.
This wine is made by the proprietor, Stephan Asseo, a bordelais transplant who grew tired of the French authorities telling him how to make wine and moved to Paso Robles. Stephan believes in making wine for the Paso terroir and gets the most flavor possible from his land. That means blending unusual combinations of Cabernet Sauvignon with Syrah and other Bordeaux varietals. The traditional AOC blending rules are thrown out the window, and the result is a truly honest, flavorful wine that just seems right for the place where the grapes where grown.