2014 Villa Creek "Willow Creek Cuvée" Paso Robles Rhône Blend (Previously $50)

SKU #1346720 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I loved the 2014 Willow Creek Cuvee (no surprise, it's a year in, year out favorite), and this vibrant purple colored beauty is made from 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah. It was fermented with 75% whole clusters and raised in 25% new French oak puncheons and barrique. This voluptuous, sexy wine has fine tannin, a rich, layered texture and medium to full-bodied aromas and flavors of blackberries, smoked herbs, licorice and wild flowers. It's a hedonistic wine that delivers on the pleasure scale. Winemaker Chris Cherry continues to produce a bevy of unique wines from his estate high up off of Peachy Canyon Road. The wines have shifted in style over the past decade, and today they're much more savory and stem-dominated (most are fermented with 100% whole cluster and aged in a good portion of concrete) than in the past. I suspect the majority of these new releases will benefit from short term cellaring to let the stems integrate. (JD)  (8/2016)

92 points Vinous

 A complex, powerfully scented bouquet evokes ripe red berries, cola, incense and dried flowers, accompanied by a smoky mineral quality in the background. Smoky, sweet and seamless on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry and succulent herb flavors that open up with aeration. Closes smooth and very long, delivering gentle tannins and building spiciness. (JR)  (9/2016)

Wine Spectator

 Deeply flavored and firmly structured, featuring raspberry and smoky anise aromas and concentrated notes of dark plum, toasty meat and black pepper, this finishes with taut tannins. Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Carignane. Best from 2018 through 2023. (TF, Web only-2016)

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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/11/2018 | Send Email
Villa Creek's "Willow Creek" Cuvee is a resounding example of just how good Paso Rhone Blends can be. The warm, dry climate of California's central coast has plenty of similarities to the southern Rhone Valley meaning Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre etc tend to thrive here. This particular bottling come from some of the finest vineyard sites in the region including Saxum's legendary James Berry Vineyard, celebrated by many as the absolute pinnacle of Rhone varietals in California. The blend is dominated by Grenache with its lush, exotic, brambly red fruit. Syrah provides some darker edges, smoke, and more robust structure. Mourvedre and Carignan add extra dimensions adding wild, savory, dried herb and earth nuances. This is the complete package - bursting with up front fruit but following it up with powerful structure, bright acidity and beautiful umami salted meat and earthy elements. Great now but I can't wait to check in on this in 3-5 years...I just need to "lose" a few bottles in the back of the cellar.

Staff Image By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/9/2018 | Send Email
The Villa Creek label is the brainchild of sommelier Cris Cherry, who sources fruit from his certified biodynamic and organic MAHA Estate in Paso Robles, but also purchases fruit from the finest vineyards in the region. The 2014 Villa Creek Cuvée is a standout wine in his portfolio, with crunchy, bright aromas of tart cherry, pomegranate, cranberry and goji berry. The GSM blend is strikingly lush on the palate, with silty, sandy tannins and a serious burst of saline minerality that prolongs the finish, begging to be savored.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Rhone Blends

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.
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.
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.