From one of Paso Roble's up-and-coming superstars, this new release is extremely limited. The vineyard was planted by Justin Smith of Saxum and Eric Jensen from Booker. Scott Hawley is owner and winemaker, with very small production each year.
97 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Made from 100% Grenache, all from the estate Torrin Vineyard, the 2014 The Maven sports a medium ruby, translucent color as well as a fabulous bouquet of framboise, crushed flowers, dried strawberries and incense. Deep, rich and concentrated, with building tannin, this full-bodied beauty is certainly up with some of the finest Grenaches coming out California. In addition, I struggle to think of another Grenache from California made in this ethereal style at this quality level. This cuvée was mostly destemmed and spent 18 months in 400-liter French oak puncheons before being bottled unfined and unfiltered...
...another estate I’ve raved about for years is Viquel and Scott Hawley’s Torrin Vineyard. These are unquestionably big, rich, Paso-styled wines, but they continue to get more and more elegance into their wines, while not sacrificing texture and richness. These latest 2014s are sensational. In addition, while I couldn’t taste the wines, they’ve also started a new Lagom label focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
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."
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."