Friday, November 10, 2006

2004 Bishop's Peak Paso Robles Rock Solid Red

Here's an unsolicated wine submission (sweet!) that we thought we would pass on to you.

The wine is positioned as something you shouldn't think too much about and just enjoy, so naturally we deconstructed it as best we could and analyzed it to death.

Had during lunch with BBQ, this Cab-Syrah blend has a powerful nose of berries, vanilla and oak that screams central coast. You will not mistake this wine for anything but a Cali wine. Ripe and forward it is devoid of varietal character (which may be good for some people.) On the palate it promises a big masculine style, but fails to deliver past the mid palate. It's hot yet its body, partially derived from its alcohol, dissipates in your mouth, thinning out the fruit. The balance is a bit off and structure is limited at best.

Don't get us wrong - this is not a 'bad' wine, nor is it tutti fruiti, it is an easy going wine you don't have to think to much about. In fact, at $12 it is a good pick for a book club or similar such occasion. It is a wine that is in the back ground -- in other words, the conversation will take center stage over the wine. Twist open this wine now, but you may want to give it a little time to let the alcohol burn off before digging in- but don't let it sit too long.

Report Card:
Intensity: B+
Complexity: B
Balance: B
Current Grade: B
Peak Grade: B

Editor's Note: The Report Card system and the style of the note is the way we evaluate wines for Bon Vivant. We will discuss this in more detail in future posts as well as on the official website. Also note, we are incredibly hard graders- think of us as the Russian judges at the wine Olympics.

Here is the company line:

BISHOP’S PEAK 2004 Rock Solid Red Paso Robles

The Rock Solid Red is a unique, multi-varietal red wine blend produced by the Talley family. Though the exact blend varies from year to year, cabernet sauvignon and syrah are often the predominant varietals. As with all wines produced under the Bishop’s Peak label, the goal is to make a handcrafted wine that reflects the distinctive characteristics of San Luis Obispo County vineyards.

The Bishop’s Peak 2004 Rock Solid Red is a blend of 60% cabernet sauvignon, 30% syrah, 5% petite sirah, and 5% tempranillo. The cabernet sauvignon and syrah that dominate the blend were sourced from the Bill Rietkert’s Viña de Leon Vineyard, just outside Paso Robles near the Estrella River.

WINEMAKING Grapes from each of the vineyards were harvested at optimal ripeness. (eds. note: aren't they all- who gonna say they harvest unripe grapes?) All lots were fermented separately using native yeasts and aged in a combination of French and American Oak barrels. After 11 months, the cuvée was blended and bottled in December 2005. Just over 5,000 cases were produced.

TASTING NOTES This wine gives aromas of ripe red currants with nuances of smoke, vanilla, and rum cake. (eds. note: that's pretty spot on for once-no smoke but rum cake hits it) Big and full-bodied, this classic blend of cabernet sauvignon and syrah displays a powerful set of fine tannins. (eds. note: we respectfully disagree) Enjoy this wine with beef, lamb chops or other savory meats grilled over an open fire.

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