Broadside ~ 2013 Printers Alley Club $ 18.70
Red Blend – the basics of wine making are to use a single varietal first. When the single varietal is not enough on its own wine makers will add a second and even a third varietal to the mix and a blend is created and the whole is far superior to the individual parts. There is Cabernet and Merlot associated in this blend with a tiny amount of added Petit Verdot too. Classic flavors related to these Bordeaux varietals are very evident and will be soft and approachable with the opening of the bottle. A little air (5 to 10 minutes) will be a benefit to your sense of aromatics and taste, but the cherry notes are clear even if you just pour, swirl and sip right away. This wine is made to be consumed soon, so Drink now – 2018 and enjoy!
Broadside ~ 2014 Chardonnay Club $ 18.70
Old world and new world meet up in this wine! Softness of a gentle oak on a third of the Chardonnay blended in with the balance of no-oak and stainless juice make this wine a very useful addition to the holiday table this year. This Chardonnay exhibits many typical peachy and pear like notes with a clean clear crispness which go so well with turkeys and hams. Or drink it alone as the wine to drink when making your holiday dinner. It is something you can save for the heat of summer, if you have that kind of patience.
Cypher Winery ~ 2012 Zinbitch Club $ 23.80
Wine Makers Notes: Nose :“Raspberry, cranberry, & rhubarb laced with nutmeg and exotic spice with hints of vanilla oak. On the Palate: Rich raspberry fruit with bright acidity dances with cranberry, rhubarb & exotic spice. The big sexy mouth feel is accented with grippy tannins that weave through the surprising massive structure. Generous red & black fruit run long on the palate and trail into a dried herb and subtle vanilla oak finish. "Like getting spanked with a velvet glove." “
My notes: I must agree with Christian on the raspberry perhaps cranberries and spice on the nose, but didn't get much of the vanilla or the rhubarb. The mouth feel for me was clean and soft with a mid-palate lingering with more raspberry and the bright acidity he describes. The tannins have softened considerably but are definitely present throughout. Bigger red fruit holds through the finish now and a slight bit of herbaciousness lingers with maybe a hint of oak. Whether we both agree on the flavors we catch, or not, doesn't matter. These are all indiviual notes anyway so you can decide for yourself. Drink now – 2017
Hug Cellars ~ 2011 el Rey GSM Blend Club $ 27.20
A Mourvèdre dominant Rhone blend. 50% Mourvèdre from the La Vista Vineyard, 33% Grenache comes from the Rolph Vineyard. Both of these vineyards are on the west side of Paso Robles. 17% Syrah comes from the cooler climate Cedar Lane Vineyard. The flavors are rich and ripe with a nice core of dark fruits. Lush earthy flavors with Black cherry, blackberries provencal herbs and sage. This wine is young and very approachable but shows tremendous potential for those with just a little patience. Cases Produced: 150 Drink now - 2018
Halter Ranch ~ 2014 Grenache Blanc Club $ 21.25
77% Grenache Blanc, 19% Picpoul Blanc, 2% Roussanne & 2% Viognier
Grenache Blanc from the north facing slopes of the Halter Ranch vineyard atop the limestone rich “Adelaida Stone” that under lies the property. Reminiscent of the wines of Southern France, this Grenache Blanc has aromas and flavors of honey, white flowers, melons & pear. Delicious on its own, this wine also pairs beautifully with hearty salads, prosciutto & melon, and anything from the sea. Drink Now
Halter Ranch ~ 2013 Synthesis Club $ 17.00
Blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon & 24% Syrah
Synthesis blends the power and complexity of Cabernet Sauvignon with the richness and elegance of Syrah. A harmonious combination, this wine offers aromas of red and black fruits with flavors of currants and blackberries leading to a smooth finish with well-integrated tannins. The winery says “Enjoy this wine on its own or pair with virtually everything”, and I concur! Drink now – or when you want to in the future.
ShellStone ~ 2011 Primitivo – “The Italian Zinfandel” Club $ 17.85
Wonderful example of Zinfandel using the Italian Clone. Unfined and unfiltered this wine is dense fruity goodness showing the what the actual Primitivo grape on the vine tastes like is directly on the front of the palate. This softens into a layered dark berry mid-palate with a floral component. The finish is slightly oaked and of medium length. Fruit from Caliza hillside estate vineyards in the Templeton Gap of west Paso Robles. 104 cases produced Drink now - 2016
Victor Hugo ~ 2012 Estate Malbec Club $ 21.25
Wine Makers notes can change over time. Vic described the wine, likely before he even bottled this wine, as such: “Hints of coffee, wild sage and ripe plum are intertwined with spicy oak. Flavors are balanced and rich with layers of pleasantly assertive tannins overlaid with hints of oak. The finish is rich and lush which enables additional aging.”
When I first tasted this Malbec, I tasted ripe Blackberries, and I mean it was overwhelmingly Blackberries. It softened a little and some of a brighter plumminess (I know-not a word) layered in to the mid-palate while the oak and tannins seemed to only flit around the edges of the tongue. They were afterthoughts, at best, until the finish. Likely due to the originally assertive tannins and oak, the rich lush finish has really softened to a subtle fruity(blackberry) ending of medium length.
More From Vic which still hold true in this wine. “While enjoyable currently, this supple red wine will continue to improve with proper cellaring for another 4-8 years in the bottle with a plateau of best drink-ability from 2016-2021.