A Super SUPER Cal-Ital Paso

Thinnish ruby with tiny pink edges.  Big round briar, raw egg, burnt rubber and cream soda rise up.  It manages to maintain a rich, robust concentration while showing lemon peel and thin elegant vanilla.

Tiny winery in Templeton, producing a grouping of wines from San Benito and a couple from West-side and THIS ONE: their estate, dry-farmed, head-trained, organic, native masterpiece in quite limited quantities.  A stunning compilation and a grand nod to some of your favorite ripe Super-Tuscans.  Nose continuously blossoms wet red earth and sweet spice so rich and round you will be seriously doubting the “12-5” on the label.  I also checked to see if Sulphite-free, as I felt a wee bit of oxidation creeping in.  It is NOT sulphite-free, thank god.

In the mouth, an instant wash of bright fruit and incredible acid heads deep into tar and briar again, campfire and chopped green weeds–bitter and satisfyingly voluptuous.  The Sang-note and its nod to Old-World funk and fresh fruit is obvious, while the decadence of California shines through in the hardcore backbone of Cab.  This is a strange balance to find in Paso Robles.  Thin and bright, wondrously acidic, low AL, and packing a classic punch undeterred by the prevalent trends of surrounding wineries.  Those of you in the back row: let me spell that out for you: Fat, jammy, disgusting over-ripe saignee-oppressed flab-bombs 15-0 and macerated in oak that the club-members in maxi-skirts flock to.  This wine is NOT that Paso.  Such a breath of fresh air!

Chewy and substantial, reeking–and tasting–of black cherry and licorice, but delicate and oh so balanced.  A considerable juxtaposition of last night’s Paso, where all the goodness is extruded and force-fed, while this bottling graciously offers up pure fruit and structure with no sluttiness.

2012 BELLA LUNA ESTATE WINERY Estate Riserva Paso Robles Templeton Cab/Sang 55/45 12-5


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