2010 Big Basin Vineyards "Paderewski Vineyard GSM" Paso Robles Rhone Blend

SKU #1122130 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Paderewski Vineyard is strikingly beautiful. A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, the 2010 impresses for the way it expresses the richness of Paso Robles fruit, but in a more refined, vibrant style than is typical of Paso. The new oak is beautifully balanced here. It is absolutely fascinating and eye opening that this wine tastes nothing like the wines being made in Paso from the very same site. This is a wine of pure finesse and elegance above all else. All of the fruit was picked between October 21 and 29. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020. I tasted a bevy of gorgeous wines with proprietor Bradley Brown this year. These new and upcoming releases are impeccable and strongly suggest Brown is one of the up and coming stars of the region. I can hardly wait to see how his wines develop in the future. Most of the 2010 Pinots were harvested during the first week of October, on the late side that year. The wines spent 16 months in French oak, between roughly 40-60% new. The 2009 Syrahs were picked during a broad window that started in early October and lasted much of the month. Brown gave his 2009 Syrahs about 27 months in French oak, from 50-86% new. I also tasted a number of wines from barrel, most of them 2010 Syrahs and Syrah-blends. Today, those wines are very promising, as the cold 2010 vintage seems to have brought out the maximum in varietal definition and nuance.  (8/2012)

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Price: $54.99

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Monterey/Carmel Valley

- These heavily planted regions on either side of the vast Salinas Valley account for much of the mass-produced, commercial wine sold in supermarkets nationwide. In the hills, however, and in sub-AVAs like Chalone and Santa Lucia Highlands, quality is much higher. Pinot noir and chardonnay look to be particularly promising.