2011 Villa Creek "Willow Creek Cuvee" Paso Robles Rhone Blend
Villa Creek's 2011 Willow Creek Cuvee, one of the flagships here, is terrific. Dark red cherries, plums, spices and tobacco take on beautiful shades of expression as the wine opens up in the glass. Menthol and licorice overtones add complexity to a wine that impresses for its vibrancy and pure finesse. The 2011 is 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre, 70% from Denner and 30% from James Berry. Cris Cherry used 40% whole clusters here. Drinking window: 2013 - 2021. I tasted a wide range of new and upcoming releases with proprietor Cris Cherry. The Villa Creek wines have always been delicious, but over the last few years, Cherry has begun moving his wines in a direction that reflects more maturity. A gradual move to larger barrels, less new oak, greater use of stems and the introduction of concrete are all choices that continue to inform these fabulous wines.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Superb, the 2011 Willow Creek Cuvee checks in as a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre, fermented with 40% whole cluster, which was aged in 40% new French oak. Ripe and sexy, with decadent blackberry, black raspberry, toasted spices, licorice and dried stem-styled aromas, it is meaty and chewy on the palate, with full-bodied richness, excellent mid-palate depth and ripe tannin. It’s impressive and will have upwards of a decade of longevity. Drink now-2021.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(60% grenache, 20% syrah and 20% mourvedre): Vivid ruby. High-pitched aromas of blackberry, cherry-cola and incense, with a smoky topnote that builds with air. Rich and expansive but lively as well, offering dark berry, bitter cherry and licorice pastille flavors and a suave violet pastille quality. Shows impressive nuance and alluring sweetness on the finish, which features smooth tannins and a hint of spicecake. Closes on a floral note, with superb clarity and supple texture. This fruit was sourced from the James Berry and Denner vineyards.