2012 Booker "RLF" Paso Robles Grenache/Syrah
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A new cuvee for me, the 2012 RLF (which is named after Eric’s father-in-law, Randy Lee Fannin, who died in a tragic incident in 2011) is a blend of 71% Grenache and 29% Syrah that was aged in a combination of used and new barrels. Tasting like a high-quality Chateauneuf du Pape, it offers perfumed black raspberry, framboise, crushed flowers, lavender and herbs de Provence aromas and flavors. This flows to full-bodied, silky and sexy wine that has impeccable balance, a rounded, supple texture and a great finish. It’s hard to resist now, and I see no reason to delay gratification either. Created in 2005, owner/winemaker Eric Jenson has pushed Booker Vineyard into the top 2-3 estates in the region. While the defining trait in the past was sheer richness and texture, I think the wines today show more complete profiles, with beautiful mid-palate density, fabulous purity of fruit and sound underlying tannic structure, all while not giving up on the core of awesome fruit and texture that makes this region so special...Looking at the two vintages covered here, the 2012s are distinctly more fresh and lively than past vintages, and they show the supple, pure character of the vintage. (JD)
Booker Vineyard is farmed bio-dynamically. They believe it keeps them in touch with their vineyard and forces them to perceive it as a living, breathing entity. Bio-dynamic farming follows the beliefs of Rudolf Steiner, who promoted a holistic approach to farming, describing that all things on the farm (including soil, plants, and livestock) are interrelated. Like many, they were skeptical of the concept at first. Eventually they came to realize, if these farming practices are good enough for some of the most discriminating wineries of the world then why not give it a try. Thus far, bio-dynamics has proven to increase the overall health and balance of their vineyard, as well as their team working within it.