2013 Epoch "Block B-Paderewski Vineyard" Paso Robles Syrah

SKU #1303151 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I think the 2013 Block B will end up being the best vintage of this cuvee to date. Always from block 13 in the Paderewski Vineyard (which got changed to block B due to the poor handwriting of yours truly years ago) and all Syrah, the 2013 was fermented with 48% whole clusters in a mix of stainless steel, oak barrels and clay amphora. It then spent 17 months in 49% new French oak, 39% neutral barrels and 12% in amphora. The darkest colored wine in the lineup, this blockbuster delivers pedal to the metal notes of black fruits, scorched earth, crushed rock and graphite. A big, full-bodied Syrah, it's still impeccably balanced, has plenty of structure and incredible purity. It's not for those looking for lightweight aromas and flavors, and will drink beautifully for a decade. Winemaker Jordan Fiorentini is making the most of her new winery on York Mountain, and her 2013s and 2014s are up with the creme de la creme of the vintage. In addition to the new releases, I was also able to do a small retrospective of her Tempranillo. (JD)  (8/2016)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* This wine from Jordan Fiorentini is a stunning study in how to achieve extreme richness with elegance. Deep black cherry, violet, espresso, milk chocolate and vanilla pastry show on the nose. On the palate, chalky, soft tannins bring forth baked blueberry, star anise and clove flavors, with floral tones and acidic lift on the finish.  (4/2017)

94 points Vinous

 Opaque purple. Potent, mineral-laced dark berry liqueur and floral pastille aromas complicated by suggestions of licorice and incense. Sweet, penetrating and pure, offering palate-staining boysenberry, cherry-vanilla and violet pastille flavors that display a compelling blend of power and finesse. The floral and cherry notes drive a strikingly long, seamless, penetrating finish that shows just a suggestion of fine-grained tannins. Winemaker Jordan Fiorentini and her associate winemaker, Peter Turrone, told me that one of the big surprises here is how well the white wines have aged. "Most people don’t associate Paso Robles with white wine in the first place," Fiorentini said, "much less with white wines that can age." History has proven the age-worthiness of wines from the northern Rhône, of course, but those from the southern Rhône, where the climate often resembles that of the Paso Robles region, have a checkered history for rewarding patience. Fiorentini said that the cold nights are a huge factor in preserving acidity in the wines "and give them backbone, which applies to both whites and reds." (AG)  (6/2016)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Smoky pepper and floral huckleberry aromas open to bold but balanced and complex flavors of dark chocolate, blackberry and licorice that linger toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2027. 449 cases made. (Web Only, 2017)

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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:

Paso Robles

- Located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this inland AVA enjoys a sunny and hot growing period while its seaside neighbors hang in the fog. Zinfandel is the traditional red grape of choice, though cabernet, chardonnay, and Rhône varietals are gaining favor. Most are made in a fruit-forward, early drinking style.