Epoch Winery is a phenomenal new label from Paso Robles to discover now before the buzz gets out. Limited.
96 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The Syrah-dominated release from this estate, the 2018 Under the Gun Syrah checks in as 88% Syrah and 12% Petite Sirah aged in 50% new French oak. Dense purple-colored, with a blockbuster bouquet of smoked black fruits, smoked game, bouquet garni, and ground pepper, this meaty, complex, full-bodied beauty has terrific purity, good acidity, and ripe yet present tannins. It's beautifully done and has a complex, cool-climate-like vibe yet packs serious muscle."
Thank goodness Bret Urness isn’t fazed by rejection. After applying to many California universities that offered studies in viticulture and winemaking (UC Davis, Fresno State, and several others), and receiving a pile of rejection letters in return, he decided to head to Portugal to learn the wine business from the bottom up. Bret spent time in the Douro Valley where he learned to appreciate traditional, primitive winemaking methods - lessons that he now lives by while crafting the limited portfolio for his LEVO Wines brand in California’s Paso Robles. LEVO Wines has received some incredible press in its relatively brief existence.
A fantastic red from Bedrock winemaker Morgan-Twain Peterson, one of the hottest young winemakers in California.
90 Points Robert Parker "Best Buy": "A Mediterranean blend of Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah and assorted mixed blacks fermented with native yeasts and aged in primarily neutral containers (15% in new French oak), it is a California version of a high-class Cotes du Rhone. Lots of berry fruit intermixed with lavender, pepper and meaty black cherry and black currant flavors emerge from this satisfying, round, expansive, generous red. An outstanding, killer value that should provide pleasure over the next 1-2 years. If there is a better value in California wine, I would like to know about it."
....Morgan Twain-Peterson is one of the most impressive young winemakers I have ever met, and it’s not just because he grew up the son of a famous producer. Making wines at this level requires talent, passion, hard work and a great palate, none of which is easily inherited. Along with Mike Officer of Carlisle, Twain-Peterson is on a mission to rediscover what he calls California’s old-vine “heritage” vineyards. These historic sites planted by California’s early immigrants, often home to unknown field blends, remain some of the most fascinating vineyards in California. Officer and Twain-Peterson were tired of seeing these old sites gobbled up by industrial-scale wineries, so they decided to do something about it. Bravo."
New York Times: "This red blend is a perpetually excellent value from Bedrock Wine Company which makes a wide variety of terrific, unmanipulated wines from old California vineyards. The array of groups includes zinfandel, carignan, syrah and petite sirah, and vintages are mixed as well, a welcome tactic. The result is an easygoing, lively wine that is delicious and versatile. Too often, inexpensive California reds are inflated with oak flavorings and other enhancements intended to imitate the characteristics of more expensive wines. Not this one, and it makes you think about how good these humble wines could be if other producers would permit them the dignity of authenticity."
An amazing value from the South of France - hurry!
95 Points Decanter: "60% Syrah, 40% Grenache. Lovely rich opulent and floral, black berry and plum nose, the palate is big with well layered fruit, attractively firm but soft tannin and hints of oak, a big wine with a lovely finish. *Gold Medal Winner Decanter Asia Wine Awards.*
Robert Parker: "A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, the Cotes du Rhone Saint-Esprit is a screaming value. If offers bold black cherry and blueberry fruit aromas, lively fruit flavors, silky tannins and a crisp, lengthy mocha-tinged finish. Drink this fun, bouncy little wine over the next couple of years."