Owner’s Club Tasting November 2020

Jeff’s Corner 12-3-20


Several times in the past I’ve written (most recently in Jeff’s Corner 9-6-19) about our annual group tasting of the new Owners Club wines. The purpose of this event is to generate tasting notes for the new releases of our Estate and Heath Vineyards wines. We taste the wine, share our opinions and aroma profiles, and the notes I write are a compilation of our impressions.

On September 24, we met for a round table discussion of the 2019 Joyist and the 2018 Originalist and 2018 Elitist from our Estate, and the 2018 Pinot Noir, 2018 Syrah, 2018 Absolution, and 2018 Liberation from Heath Vineyards in Paso Robles. Our panel consisted of owners Brian and Jennifer, general manager Julie, the winery team led by Jason (along with Julian and Justin), our marketing consultant/photographer Miguel, and yours truly. Main Street Captain Patrick tasted from home.

Every wine we tasted was outstanding. The Estate wines continue to reflect our unique GCV terroir and the maturation of the vines, with the ’18 Originalist being notable. Of our Paso wines, we were all in agreement that the new Heath Pinot Noir is by far the best Pinot to date, while the Absolution was perhaps the show-stopper.

Next comes a cool surprise. Rather than having to imagine the intense drama at this event, Miguel filmed a really cool video for you to check out at  . Also, here are the final tasting notes:

Estate Wines

2019 Joyist
    Our unique Estate blend of Albarińo and Chenin Blanc is an appealing pale yellow/straw, featuring charming aromas of Granny Smith apple, tangerine, banana, Bosc pear, passion fruit, and honeyed crème brûlèe.  Delicate and elegant, a crisp, clean finish gains complexity and texture from 30% spending 3 months in new French oak.
    75% Albarińo, 25% Chenin Blanc
    12.0% ABV
2018 Originalist
    First produced as Epiphany in 2010, our ’18 Originalist  is a deep ruby in color and shows aromas of raspberry, red plum, huckleberry, black cherry, allspice, and violet layered with generous amounts of toasted oak.  The palate is rich and lively, with a rustic earthiness and subtle minerality reflecting the unique GCV terroir from these 12 year old vines.   
    75% Montepulciano, 25% Aliagnico
    12.8% ABV

2018 Elitist
    Our much anticipated, inaugural vintage of the Elitist does not disappoint!  A brooding, impermeable dark purple hue yields rich, aromatic aromas of blackberry, cassis, baked cherry, and dried fig complimented by rose petal, cedar, and fresh-cut tobacco.  Aged in 25% new French oak, the palate exhibits graceful fruit flavors supported by firm tannins and brisk acidity.
    53% Petite Sirah, 40% Aglianico, 7% Tannat

Heath Vineyards Wines

2018 Pinot Noir
    Perhaps our best Pinot to date, and aged in 100% French oak, the ’18 Pinot is a charming bright garnet in color, with playful aromas of Bing cherry, cherry cola, raspberry, blueberry, and spiced apple along with toffee, lilac, violet, and eucalyptus.  The palate is well-centered, with a plush viscosity and soft tannins yielding a clean, sophisticated finish.
    100% Pinot Noir
    14.8% ABV

2018 Syrah
    A classic dense, dark purple, this is a very muscular wine featuring concentrated aromas of white and black pepper layered with ripe blueberry, black cherry, black plum, lavender, and an intriguing hint of spun sugar.  Aged in 100% French oak (40% new), a big, fleshy palate boasts a lingering fruit finish dominated by firm, yet supple tannins.
    100% Syrah
    15.5% ABV

2018 Liberation
    Crafted from 100% Cab from only two single blocks, Liberation is a lean, austere “old-world style”  Cabernet with a richly extracted royal purple/black color.  Blackberry, boysenberry, cassis, and cracked black pepper dance with vanilla, lavender, pencil shavings, and a touch of flinty minerality.  This beauty will develop gracefully over the next 8-10 years.  
    100% Cabernet Sauvignon, Blocks 4B, 5B
    15.5% ABV

2018 Absolution
    A textbook Bordeaux-style blend, Absolution is a dense, dark purple with an alluring red rim.  Seductive aromas of black currant, black cherry, espresso, and mocha pair with anise, thyme, and freshly tanned leather.  With well-integrated acid and tannin, this lovely wine is approachable when young, and will be even more rewarding with a few years of bottle age.
    81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot
    15.5% ABV