Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Brawny Petite Packs A Wallop

Just off Highway 46, on Paso Robles’ east side, sits Vina Robles Winery. Their tasting room is there, too, as is their bistro, serving a seasonal menu which features locally grown food prepared on-site. Founder Hans Nef felt his Swiss heritage blended well with the opportunities that America offered him. The winery website tells us that Mr. Nef died in 2019 due to an accident while swimming off the Cape Verde islands. The winery is now in the hands of Nef's two daughters. 

Winemaker Kevin Willenborg takes the grapes from their six SIP certified sustainable estate vineyards and creates wines that promise to honor the past while looking into the future. He has a minimal intervention policy of staying out of the way and letting the grapes do their thing.

Besides sustainability, Vina Robles partners with One Tree Planted, an organization which tries to improve the world one tree at a time. A portion of the Vina Robles wine, The Arborist, goes to that charitable outfit. The wine was named The Arborist after an actual arborist saved the life of a 300-year-old oak tree that sits in one of their vineyards.

The Vina Robles 2019 Petite Sirah Paso Robles is all estate fruit, which was vinified and aged for 20 months in oak barrels. Alcohol hits 14.5% abv and it retails for $27.

The wine is inky purple and has a beautiful nose full of blackberries and oak spice - vanilla, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg - and even a whiff of smoke. The palate shows the big, brawny black fruit along with the spice rack and a tannic structure that is plenty firm enough for a steak but not too toothy for sipping. 

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