Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Paso Robles GSM Hits Homer

The Paso Robles wine region sprawls over a good part of California's Central Coast.  It sprawls so, that it was recently divided into eleven sub-AVAs.  That's a testament to the variety of terroirs in the region's 600,000-plus acres, 40,000 of which are under vine. 

Hall Ranch sports five sustainably farmed estate vineyards - 300 acres in all.  They grow 21 different grape varietals there in the neighborhood of the Estrella River.  Head winemaker Don Brady was Texas-trained, back before Texas had a wine industry of which to speak.  He's been with Hall for nearly two decades.

Robert Hall's 2016 Cavern Select GSM is a Rhône blend of Grenache, Syrah and Morvèdre in more or less equal parts.  About half of the grapes came from Paso's Adelaida sub-app, about a third from the El Pomar region and the rest were from the Creston and Santa Margarita Ranch appellations.  Oak was used in the fermentation and aging process, Fresn and European (Hungarian?) and much of it was new wood.  Alcohol sits at 14.5% abv and it’s available only through the wine club and tasting room at $45.

This inky wine smells the way you want a GSM to smell, full of blackberry, cigar box and tar.  It has aromas that won't quit until you notice them.  The flavors are just as insistent, and just as dark.  Oak is pronounced, but well integrated, while the tannins can handle a steak without getting in the way. 

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