2012 Booker "The Ripper" Paso Robles Grenache
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 The Ripper (always 100% Grenache), which checks in at 13.6% alcohol, is a fabulous effort that was brought up all in neutral 500-liter French oak barrels. Loaded with notions of kirsch, dried flowers, rose petal and underbrush, it’s about as seamless and elegant as this cuvee gets, yet it’s still no lightweight and has full-bodied richness and depth. Showing plenty of fine tannin on the finish, it is hard to resist now, but should have a solid 10-12 year drink window. (JD)
A dark, voluptuous wine, the 2012 Ripper bursts from the glass with dark red and black stone fruits, spices, new leather and menthol flesh out in the glass. In 2012, the Ripper is much darker and riper than normal, with less varietal character than has been the case of late. In 2012, Eric Jensen managed the canopies to get as much hang time as possible, which resulted in extended hang time and a harvest that was about three weeks later than normal. Personally, I have enjoyed Booker's Ripper most when the Grenache characteristics are emphasized to a greater degree. The 2012 was done entirely in neutral 500 liter barrels. (AG)
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.