2005 Rockin' One
California: Paso Robles
What we say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
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FINAL AVAILABILITY ALERT!
With such limited production and such high quality, this wine is currently in short supply.
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Mission Codename: Rock On!
Operative: Agent Red and Agent Neutron
Objective: Accompany new recruit, Agent Neutron, on a mission to locate a superior red blend from the Paso Robles region. If her pick meets our exacting criteria for quality, secure an ample quantity for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Cass Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Rockin’ One
Winemakers: Dan Kleck & Lood Kotze
Backgrounder: Wine Spies Operatives love Rhone-style red blends whose primary composition is usually Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre (sometimes referred to as a ‘GSM’). Today’s red Rhone could be called a SMG/Ps as it leads off with Syrah, and ends with a nifty addition of Petite Sirah, giving the wine a fruity-richness that offsets some of the gaminess usually associated with California GSM’s. Read Red’s tasting notes and mission report below for the full details on today’s great wine
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet to with a deep heart of pure burgundy, this wine shows deeply concentrated color right out to the edges of the glass. On swirling, this wine moves quickly, taking a long time to settle before leaving behind fat clusters of slow-moving legs
Smell – Deeply aromatic with a pronounced rush of fresh blueberry, with blackberry preserves, cherry, chocolate, cigar box (cedar), leather, soft spice and tomato vine
Feel – Supple, smooth and even a little delicate at first, but this gives way to a much larger (but still balanced) feel as a medium-body takes over when the wine grips down with medium tannins that gently take hold at the mid-palate
Taste – Delicious and lushly concentrated fruit that leads off with big sweet & slightly tart flavors that beautifully the nose. Add to these additional flavors of white pepper and dark smoky plum
Finish – Big and bold at first, this wine starts sweet, then goes slightly tart, making your mouth water and reminding you to take another big sip
Conclusion – This wine restores my faith in GSM blends! It seems like it has been along time since a Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache blend has tickled my fancy in the slightest. It can’t be the simple addition of 4% Petite Sirah that makes this wine. It is most certainly the concentrated and extracted Paso fruit. Keep in mind that while many Paso wines may be characterized as being overly extracted, this wine holds everything in perfect harmony. Yes, this is a bold and robust wine, but it possesses great balance and refinement, making it a mouth-filling near-beast of a wine that is actually restrained and fun to drink. It will not destroy your palate – or even a fine meal – but it will provide enough excitement and interesting characteristics to keep you talking about it long after the bottle is empty!
I was able to sit down with Cass Winery’s winemaker, Lood Kotze, for a short interview earlier this week. Here is a transcript of our conversation:
AGENT RED: Hi Lood!
LOOD KOTZE: Agent Red. Thanks for coming by.
RED: Is it always this hot here in Paso Robles?
LOOD: Not quite always, but, yes, it gets hot here.
RED: What effect does that have on the grapes – and the wines that are made from them?
LOOD: It’s hard to generalize about Paso Robles, but I would say that the wines from here are deeper and more concentrated. They are very rich, intense and strongly flavored. People love Paso wines for their accessibility. I think that wines from here are more universally appealing.
RED: Tell me, Lood, who do you make wines for?
LOOD: I tend to make wines that I personally like to drink. Luckily, that happens to match up with what fans of our wines also like!
RED: Good thing. I think that left to their own devices, some winemakers would end up making wines that only they like! Tell me, what would you say is your winemaking style?
LOOD: Well, I really believe that the terroir give the quality of a wine and the winemaker just maintains the quality. Great wine really begins in great vineyards. Starting with the best fruit, I tend to allow the wine to do its own thing with minimal input.
RED: Do you ever have to tweak a wine at all?
LOOD: Of course, but always in the most subtle ways possible. Really, the vineyard does most of the work, I just take care of the wine throughout the process.
RED: Before I let you go, please tell me what’s going on in the winery right now.
LOOD: Well, the vineyards are looking great, with shoots that are more than a foot long! In the winery, we just finished up with one round of bottling – and so now my focus is on our 2008’s.
RED: And, before you know it, harvest will be here!
LOOD: Don’t say that! We still have the summer and into the fall… but, yeah, before you know it, harvest will be here.
RED: Listen, I love Cass wines. The Rockin’ One is honestly the best Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre blend I have ever tasted.
LOOD: It is a great wine. Most blends of this style are usually reductive and austere. The Rockin’ One is way expressive and very delicious.
RED: It rocks!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Cass Winery and the Rockin’ One vineyard can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
90 Points – Stephan Tanzer – “Deep ruby. Potent cherry and blackcurrant aromas are complimented by dark chocolate, fruitcake, and vanilla. Lush and creamy, offering deep red and dark berry preserve flavors and a velvety texture, with no obvious tannins. A big wine for sure, but also shockingly fresh and nicely balanced. Finishes with impressive sappy persistence and a strong echo of dark berries and vanilla. Reviewed price: $42”
About This Wine
Our Rockin One is a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah and Grenache. Syrah provides a strong tannin base with a velvety finish, while the Mourvedre adds a smoky nose with ample tobacco supporting it. With a strawberry-jam nose and spicy finish, a good swirl and you can understand what Grenache adds to the blend. Our Rockin One goes nicely with guava glazed pork tenderloin, but don’t be afraid to enjoy as an after meal treat on your back patio, with a glass in one hand and a cigar in the other.
Vinification: This was the first vintage produced in our new winery facility. Stringent cropping was used on both Grenache and Mourvèdre, bringing the tons per acre down from an estimated 10-12 to 4 tons per acre. This resulted in improved color and concentration of the fruit. The different varieties were kept separate until blending. Cap management consisted of both punching down and pumping over as required by the ferment for optimum extraction. In addition to 16 months barrel aging, this wine also received further bottle aging for halve that time to ensure a market ready product upon release.
About The Winery:
Cass Vineyards and Winery is located in the rolling, oak-studded hills between Paso Robles and Creston on California’s beautiful Central Coast. This area that the vineyard calls home offers quiet serenity for the visitor and a perfect growing season for wine grapes.
Sited due east of the “Templeton Gap”, we receive the evening’s cooling breezes that the west side of Paso Robles is noted for. We also rest far enough from the coast to generate the heat needed to optimally ripen the Rhone varieties grown in our vineyards.
One hundred percent of the wines crafted at Cass Winery are Estate Grown. Our vineyard surrounds our Tasting Room and winery. You can literally touch, taste, see and smell the grapes from the block where they were harvested.
The Tasting Room offers picnic fare and our chef prepares lunches daily 12-4pm at the Cass Café to enhance the feel of this special environment. Scenic paths lead to oak-shaded picnic areas for our visitors’ complete wine country sensory experience.
A unique feature of our wine making is that all of the Rhone grapes we grow are ENTAV certified. ENTAV (Establissement National Technique pour l’Amelioration de la Viticulture) is the national agency of France responsible for the quality of wine grape varieities. Over 90% of all French Vineyards are started with ENTAV certified plants and are only recently available in California. Consequently, these are among the very first wines made from ENTAV grapes grown here.
Varieties: 20% Grenache clone 362, 45% Syrah clone 383, 35% Mourvèdre clone
Residual Sugar: 0.9 g/l
Barrel Treatment: The different varieties comprising this blend were aged separate, in barrels selected for the specific variety. This made for a blend aged in approximately 35% new barrels which consisted of mostly French origin and the balance of American origin.
Harvested: Syrah Oct 11th, 2005 @25.5 brix, Grenache Sept 23rd , 2005 @24.5 brix, Mourvèdre Oct 18th, 2005 @26 brix
Bottled: Jan 22nd, 2007 450 cases
Winemakers: Dan Kleck & Lood Kotze
Suggested Food Pairing:
GUAVA GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN
(as paired on 2005 Rockin’ One back label)
2 pork tenderloins (about 1.5lbs. each)
Robbins Family Farms Olive oil
3 Tbsp. cumin powder
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup Busha Browne guava jelly
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. Orange juice
Salt and pepper
In a separate bowl combne marmalade, mustard, orange juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside until ready to glaze tenderloin. Heat grill to high. Brush pork with oil and season with cumin, 1 tsp. salt and pepper. Cooking time really depends on size and weight of tenderloins. For size listed above frill for 3-4 minutes. Turn the tenderloins over and brush with guava glaze and cook another 4-5 minutes, brushing with glaze every few minutes. Remove from grill, brush with more of the glaze and let rest for 10 mintures before serving. To serve slice and drizzle with Orange mojo sauce.
1/4 cup lime juice
3 cups orange juice
1/2 small red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 habanero chile, finely chopped
2/3 tsp. cumin powder
1/3 cup garlic oil
In a medium saucepan, combine citrus juices, onion, garlic, habanero, and cumin. Cook over medium heat until reduced by about half and season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain sauce through a sieve and slowly add 1/3 cup light olive oil or vegetable. Drizzle over pork tenderloin to serve.