Wednesday, April 5, 2017

L.A. Winemakers Conduct Paso Robles Stormwatch

Stormwatch is made by the Riboli family, who run the oldest winery in Los Angeles, San Antonio Winery. They are celebrating their centennial this year. The Ribolis use grapes from their estate vineyard in Paso Robles for this one on their San Simeon label. Winemakers Anthony Riboli and Arnaud Debons crafted the wine in L.A., but they now have a winemaking facility in Paso Robles.

The Bordeaux grapes were grown in Paso's El Pomar district and the wine was aged 18 months French oak. It retails for $70.

It's a Bordeaux-styled blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, 21% Merlot, 16% Malbec, 11% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Personally, I would have flipped the Cabernets, more Franc than Sauvignon, but what do I know? It's not like anybody ever asked me to figure out the final blend for them. And that's probably a good thing.

The Paso Robles Cabernet - Sauvignon, that is - smells earthy as usual. Paso Cab has a great aroma, I think. Full of mineral, limestone and dirt. This one gets an infusion of mocha, chocolate, and sweet smoke. The palate is robust and tasty. Let's mention those tannins right off the bat. They are not to be ignored. The fruit is rather demanding as well, with big, dark berries, as ripe as you want. Herbal notes that sing bring some anise along into the oak spice. The finish doesn't know when to stop, and we can be glad about that.