2012 Justin "Justification" Paso Robles Cabernet Franc-Merlot
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 58% Cabernet Franc and 42% Merlot, the 2012 Justification was aged 19 months in 47% new French oak. It's an impressive, full-bodied, nicely structured Bordeaux blend that gives up plenty of cassis, lead pencil, black raspberry and toasted spice on the nose. Already approachable, it nevertheless has the tannic structure to evolve nicely for a decade. One of the original estate to focus on Bordeaux Varieties from Paso Robles, Justin Vineyards pulls from a number of estate vineyards and the wines are made by Fred Holloway and Scott Shirley.
Glass-staining ruby. Complex, seductively perfumed aromas of cherry, cassis, pipe tobacco and potpourri, along with a smoky topnote. Juicy, spicy and penetrating, showing very good clarity to its dark berry, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors. The intense, clinging, smoke-tinged finish shows a hint of floral pastilles and suave, slow-building tannins.
With its savory notes and structure, "Justification" is aimed at paying homage to Right Bank Bordeaux producers of Cabernet Franc-dominated wines, with a juicy Paso twist. The blend is 58% Cabernet Franc, 42% Merlot. From the winery's tasting notes: "Bright with a beautiful dark purple ruby core and medium concentrated rim. Aroma: Red and black cherry, black currant, and ripe strawberry fruit with cola, coffee, dark licorice and vanilla spice accents. Full bodied with currant, cherry, and strawberry along with dark black currant on the entry. Sweet tobacco, mineral, and herbal notes on the mid-palate with licorice and vanilla spice. Finish is long and complex with red and black fruit candy notes, nicely framed by medium firm tannins." This wine can't miss with the winery's food pairing suggestion: "Serve with tea smoked duck or duck confit, roasted vegetables, or Filet Mignon with a red wine reduction."