Saturday, July 21, 2012

Justin Wine Knows Its Place

Justin Winery Tasting Room
There are many times, being a boy from Southern Idaho, you know where your place is in this world. For me, I wasn’t raised to be some skinny jeans wearing guy with a Rolex. I was raised to be good, old fashioned working stock. Certainly, I clean up pretty well from time to time, but I know where I sit in the world.

The same goes true for some in the wine business. I was sitting in a discussion the other night with a very famous winemaker from France (subject of another article). He brought this up about wines from our region, and many other regions around the world. Simply, some varietals are just meant to be grown in certain conditions and climates. You can grow them in other areas, but it isn’t the same.

What I like about Justin Winery and Vineyards is that they do know their place in the world. Located in beautiful Paso Robles on the Central Coast of California, they aren’t as high faluten as you’d find up north in Sonoma or Napa. But, they like me aren’t ashamed of it. They’re damned proud.

Started in 1981 by Justin and Deborah Baldwin, Justin winery is located in the Adelaide Valley just to the west of Paso Robles. Known for its remoteness, this is one part of California that is known more for its wildlife than it is for its people.

The Baldwin’s story isn’t much unlike a lot of other successful winery owners out there. Both were very successful in the investment banking industry and chose to come to the simpler life. The Baldwins had a real love for Bordeaux wines, and really bought into the dream of making their own California wine paradise.

With the help of master winemaker Fred Holloway over the past 20 years, the winery continues to grow and flourish. Holloway has been very active in California wines from small wineries to some corporate wineries such as LaCrema. He has several 95 to 100 rated wines in his career.

The biggest thing to know about Paso Robles, and Justin for that matter, is that they are close to, but not included in the psychosis that is Napa. They have the tools and staff available, without the high costs.

This week I enjoyed a beautiful bottle of the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine initially opens up in the bottle like a pair of tight pants, but after getting a few minutes of air it is like getting your stretchy pants on and sitting down on the couch. This is a sign of a superior wine that will age very well over the next 10 + years.

The aroma of the wine is full of currants, with notes of cherry and blackberry. Spices such as vanilla and anise are richly interlaced with the fruit. The flavors are as rich as the nose suggests with plenty of currant, cherry, anise, and cedar. There is a nice acidity to the pH which balances the soft tannins and fruit.

There are a lot of ways to get ahold of this wine. You can get it through many higher end wine shops in the Northwest, as well as through the Justin Wine website at . I would also suggest if you are going through Central Valley staying at the bed and breakfast on location. You can check it out on the website as well.


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