Cass Winery

2008 Rockin' One

Red Blend •Cass Vineyard

California: Paso Robles

Offer Expired:Aug 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm
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What We Say


Today’s wine.. ROCKS! The Wine Spies put quality first, when selecting wines for our Operatives, and when we find one that deserves special recognition, we issue a special alert.


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Mission Codename: For those about to rock!

Operative: Agent Red

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: 2008 Rockin’ One

Winemaker: 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 Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below for the full details on today’s great wine

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark black plum hues at with dense and nearly solid core of darkest red-black. At the edge of the glass, a fine line of purple encircles the wine. After swirling, chubby legs form high on the inside of the glass, before they run slowly downward.

Smell – Lush and heady with bold fruit of ripe blackberry, black cherry, dark plum, toasty vanilla pastry and dark blueberry. These are underpinned by more subtle aromas of stewed fig, cocoa powder, earthen red cherry, white pepper and a hint strawberry candy.

Feel – Plush and round at the tip of the tongue, the wine then glides across the mid-palate. After you swallow, a soft dryness gradually spreads around the palate, to the corners of the mouth, eventually drying cheeks and lips.

Taste – Rich and layered, with flavors of black cherry juice, blackberry juice, black plum and braised black fig in the lead. As the wine opens up, additional flavors of cassis, unsweetened licorice, white pepper and flint.

Finish -Very long and flavor-filled, dark fruit lingers as licorice, flint and pepper appear. Then, flavors all tail off slowly, leaving behind a chew feel and soft dryness that encourage another generous sip.

Conclusion – We featured our first Rockin’ One a few years ago, with the stellar 2005 vintage. True to form, Cass continues its tradition of fun and deliciocity with its flagship blend. Today’s 2008 Paso Robles Rockin’ One Estate Cuvee delivers big flavor with a fun and elegant feel. Aromatics are big and layered and the wine has great acid balance, making it a perfect companion for rich or spicy foods. We enjoyed ours with juicy lamb burgers, right off the grill. Enjoy this wine now, or cellar for a couple of years. Decant for best results and, most of all, enjoy this juicy and delicious Paso treat from our friends at Cass!

Mission Report:

AGENT RED: Hi Lood! We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Rockin’ One today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

LOOD KOTZE: Agent Red.It is good to see you, again.

RED: Wow. 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. Paso Robles is a very unique and diverse wine region, with many micro climates and soils. It has the potential of creating world class wines. It still has the non-corporate wine culture.

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: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

LOOD: I grew up in wine country, surrounded by vineyards, and having family in the business, it was almost inevitable that I would work in the wine business.

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: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

LOOD: I’ve been influenced by every winemaker I worked for, winemaking is constant learning.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

LOOD: We are getting close to harvest season. We recently finished a couple bottlings of 09’s, and I am currently racking 2010 reds.

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!

LOOD: Indeed!

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

About This Wine

A true SMG blend, this wine brings you the white pepper of Mourvèdre, strawberry of Grenache, and earthy chocolate and cherry notes of our clone 383 Syrah

Food Pairing Notes: Lamb and Kale Moussaka, smoked turkey or ham

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.

Technical Analysis:

Varieties: 20% Grenache clone 362, 45% Syrah clone 383, 35% Mourvèdre clone

Alcohol: 15.0%

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:

(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.


Bryan Cass

Technical Analysis:

Vintage: 2008 .

Varietal: Red Blend

Appellation: Paso Robles

Vineyard Designation: Cass Vineyard

Harvest Date: Syrah – 9/16/08 Grenache 9/22/08 Mourvedre 10/2/08

Sugar: 25.7 brix

Acid: TA .79g/100ml

pH: 3.42

Aging: 18 months in barrel

Alcohol: 15%

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