Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Paso Cabs: Not Eastside Or Westside - Broadside

There was a recent virtual tasting event dedicated to a few new vintages of the Broadside line, and those who participated through social media were impressed. The Broadside wines tasted and discussed:

Broadside Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2014 ($20)
Broadside Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($18)
Broadside Margarita Vineyard Merlot 2013 ($22)
Broadside Margarita Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($25)

Broadside Wine is actually Paso power couple, Brian and Stephanie Terrizzi, who hosted the virtual tasting event. Brian is the minimalist winemaker focusing on varietal purity and vineyard expression. Stephanie is the viticulturalist waving the banner for bio-organic viticulture in Paso Robles. Jon Bonné writes that she "has become the area’s great alternative vineyardist." When she is not busy with her Broadside work, she wins over Paso grape growers to the side of organic and sustainable farming and certifications.

Broadside Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

This wine is put together using Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Half of them were harvested from Margarita Vineyard and half from two other sustainably farmed vineyards. The selection of fruit is great - Margarita Vineyard has some of the best terroir in California - and the alcohol comes very restrained at 13.9% abv.  The real surprise is the retail price - $16. That is a great price point for a wine that hits so very well on the palate, as this one does.

Inky indigo, the wine has a beautiful nose of cassis and blueberry. Cedar, leather and pipe tobacco play large supporting roles. The fruit is as dark on the palate as it is on the nose. A sense of forest floor comes through as well, darkening things further. Just a shade of graphite shows up. The wine reminds me more of the Rhône than of Bordeaux.

Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon Margarita Vineyard 2013

Margarita Vineyard is located as far south in the Paso Robles AVA as one can get. The vineyard is on an uplifted ancient seabed full of granitic shale and oyster shells. It has more terroir going for it than than most places do. It is the estate vineyard for Ancient Peaks Winery, which I toured about five years ago.

The grapes from the sustainably farmed vineyard are 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot  The French oak in which the wine was aged was nearly all neutral, only three percent of the barrels were new. Alcohol hits 14.2% abv and the wine retails for $25.

This single-vineyard Paso Cab puts forth the distinctive terroir of Margarita Vineyard quite well. A focused fruit-and-mineral balance on the nose shows the effect of the uplifted seabed while cigar box, leather and smoke exemplify the two years of oak. The palate is suitably dark for the serious tannic structure it accompanies. Cassis, plum, licorice and a long, fine finish are a delight. Well worth the money. Well worth much more.

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