Have you heard of the Petaluma Gap? It refers to an area of low lying hills (about 24km wide) that are offset by the higher elevations and California Coast Range mountains to the north and south. This depression acts almost like a funnel, allowing for cooling winds to usher in the crisp air from the Pacific Ocean. The area that is most affected by the Petaluma Gap has just recently been given its own American Viticultural Area (AVA) designation in January 2018, the Petaluma Gap AVA, which is defined by a regular, minimum wind speed of 13km/hr.
There are several prominent valleys and wind streams found along the western coast that provide similar cooling affects like the Petaluma Gap. San Luis Obispo County, home to Paso Robles, is near the Pacific Ocean, with the Santa Lucia hills backing the region to the east. San Luis Obispo is home to some of the coolest vineyard sites in the state, due in large from the Pacific influences. However, within this county, Paso Robles is a bit of an anomaly, it is very warm and continental, with hot days and cool nights.
A range of hills to the east of Paso Robles block the majority of the cooling ocean breezes, allowing the region to retain its heat through the day. But even Paso Robles has its relief, the Templeton Gap, a series of river valleys, bring in some temperature moderation. The proximity to the these Pacific air streams, and shielding blockades like the Santa Lucia range, provide varied climates within a relatively small area, creating great variety in wine styles. Enjoy this Cabernet by 2021 and serve at room temperature, 18 C.
Dark, cherry red core with lighter cranberry hued rim. It is glistening and reflective swirled in the glass.
Brambly berry delight! The rustic red berries are mixed with briar patch and light notes of bark and oak. The fruit aromas are warm, like the berries were picked after suntanning on the branch. Underneath, there is a play between a slight stemmy or leafy note, with sweeter liquorice Nibs, ripe cherry and vanilla bean.
The primary fruit profile is a bit darker and brooding than what was displayed on the nose. The wine starts off a bit austere, but warms up with some swirls and patience. The black plum, blackberry and currants flow through the palate accompanied by violets and stronger flavours of herbs and earth, with medium acidity and tannin, and a solid backbone. We can sense the alcohol with a bit of a 'ting' near the finish, followed by cocoa powder and oak chest giving us a bit of bitterness.
This wine is not shy, but it isn't showing you all its cards upfront. We think it is a perfect wine for a beef stew that has been slow cooking all day, this will give you some time to open your wine ahead of time. Both the stew and wine have layers of subtle, but complex flavours that will unfold together.
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