Transparent light ruby, thinning slightly at the edges.
OHHHHH! Winemaker just cringed, “Don’t say LIGHT!!! That’s a death-knell for a Cab!!!” Listen: First of all, my followers are not stupid like that. They don’t need to be able to stand a fork up in a wine in order to pronounce it good. And if they DO, I don’t want them following me. Relatedly: Anyone who drinks motor-oil wines is not going to like this wine. So see? We solved the problem. I’ve seen Pinots darker than this–millions of them. I’ve seen Paso rosé this dark… OK, OK, now we’re getting a little carried away. It’s not THAT light!
But seriously, it is a beautiful clear claret-depth in glass: clear, light, non-staining and wondrously colored. 7-Up edge and anise-spice, muddled with rosemary, chaparral and high-desert soil after a squall. At first, I was going to say peaty, but it’s brighter than that, perfumed lightly–just a classic glow on a clean woman–nothing opulent or obfuscating. Ripe berry and peach-fuzz in need of attention clamors about, dragging with it more oily spice–so delicate and earnest.
I can’t WAIT to see what the alcohol is on this. I’m going to guess–I’m going to go WAY OUT into left field and say….oh boy… 12-9. This is PASO, don’t forget. I’m going to go with 12-9.
In the mouth, bright fruit. Just bright fruit. Light cherry, red Hawaiian Punch concentrate, raspberry firm and tight–something our grandmother would say needs another few days on the bush–lovely little explosions of tart sweetness on your tongue. Nothing austere, nothing vegetal, nothing any of you would start looking for when you see a cabernet this light, and start doing guesses on its proof. A dense dark concentrated black walnut, cassis and vanilla extract trickles down the sides of your tongue, knocking you out of your “lightness’ reverie and making you look hard at the glass again. Tannin light and easy. This is straight-up claret.
Listen. I don’t cross-brand very often, but because this is an unfamiliar label to most of you, and because it’s ‘Paso’, I’m going to give it a few place-marks: If you’ve had Togni. If you’ve had Corison. If you’ve had Matthiasson. If you’ve had Habit. I am nost suggesting the straight-up oppulence of a high-end Napa is there as in the former 3, but the thin balance is there. If any of those names spark little trails inside your head, I would suggest finding this wine. Those of you who know, know what I’m talking about. It is going to stand out in your California Cabernet-blend experience and if you factor in the “Paso Robles” part, your mind will be positively BLOWN. Daou-fan: you’re going to HATE this wine. This is Bordeaux-meets-California sunshine and somebody up there wielded the restraint-nozzle firmly. Attention hipster-somm: FINALLY a Paso Robles cab for your list.
2016 GHOST CELLARS Proprietary Red Paso Robles 13.0