Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Paso Robles And The Delightful Cab

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 Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 features Cabernet Sauvignon grapes taken from two of their estate vineyards. As they explain it on their website, Huerhuero Vineyard is in the hilly terrain between the El Pomar and Geneseo Districts. It gets the cool Pacific breezes that blow through the Templeton Gap in the afternoon. Creston Valley Vineyard has high terrain, a southern exposure and shallow, limestone-laced soils. The wine was aged for 20 months in oak barrels, with a bit of Petit Verdot added at the eight-month mark. The Cab has alcohol at 14.5% abv and retails for $32.

The wine is dark in color and features a complex nose of currant, plum, black cherry and oak spice - all layered with the chalky minerality that is a hallmark of Paso Robles Cabs. That limestone minerality comes through especially strong on the palate. The dark red fruit plays a big role, the sweet oak is just right and the tannins are medium-firm.

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