Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Paso Robles - Justin Winery

Our first stop was Justin Winery (  It was a beautiful Sunday morning, probably in the mid-70’s as we started out.  They open at 10:00 a.m., one of the first in the area on a Sunday morning.

Justin Winery is not only a winery but also has an attached Inn called, appropriately, the Just Inn, and also a small restaurant with lovely outside seating available.  We liked every wine we tasted.  Winemaker Fred Holloway is doing a wonderful job.  We were greeted by the very knowledgeable assistant tasting room manager, Bruce Cooper, who poured our tasting.  Here are a few notes on some of the wines we tasted:

2007 Sauvignon Blanc – classic character…grassy with tropical fruit and some citric flavors.  Crisp and good example of the varietal.  Good buy.

2007 Chardonnay – interesting style, very enjoyable.  This wine was barrel fermented and sur lie stirred, but no malo-lactic fermentation – very rare in barrel fermented wine.  Nice fig and apple character with good acid balance.

2006 Orphan – lovely raspberry, chocolate and plum character.  This wine is soft and rich with a great blend of both the classic Bordeaux varieties and Rhone varieties, which, while being an unusual combination, come together very nicely.

2005 Isosceles – the wine that started it all for Justin Winery.  In the 90’s, it was chosen the best red blend in a wine tasting in London against top Bordeaux wines from France and others from all over the world.  They just received the 2008 Decanter World Wine Award for this vintage, where it was voted the top USA Red Bordeaux Blend.  It is pricy for my budget at $62 but they have no problem selling it out.  In fact, we were told that they sell out all of their wine every year and have to allot them.  A very nice problem to have, indeed.

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