2006 Cumulus Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Paso Robles
What We Say
ELITE OPERATIVE WINE ALERT:
Today’s Elite Operative selection is a very limited allocation of a classic Paso Robles Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. If you are fan of big and rich Paso wines, then this wine belongs in your cellar!
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Mission Codename: Exceptional Vertical Development
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure a limited allocation of Twilight Cellars’ Cumulus Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon for our Elite Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Twilight Cellars
Wine Subject: 2006 Cumulus Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Richard Gumerman
Paso Robles, in California’s Southern Central Coast region (San Luis Obisbo County) is one of California’s oldest and also newest wine growing regions. The first vines were planted in the late 1700s by the Spanish missionaries.
Paso’s unique climate, perhaps influences its vine more than any other area in California. The hot, dry weather that is only minimally effected by coastal fog and wine results in grapes that are more concentrated in flavor and intensity. This climate makes Paso uniquely suited to grow the big red varietals including Zinfandel, Syrah and as in this wine,a Cabernet Sauvignon that has spent 40 months in oak maturing.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deepest ruby red with dark purple tints that extend to the very edge of the glass. Ruby streaks glisten though its clear core when held to the light and when swirled, fast and randomly spaced medium-thick legs ring the glass.
Smell – Prominent notes of black cherry mingle with hot spice and savory cigar-box and meaty undertones. Distinct cocoa, toasted vanilla and soft herbal notes immediately follow the rich, ripe and fruit-forward cherry aromas.
Feel – Smooth and generous on the initial attack then the firm and textured tannins and a touch of hot spice hits at mid-palate drying your tongue as this full-bodied wine expands over the palate. This wine’s bright acidity lends itself to a variety of food pairings.
Taste – Classic Paso fruit-forward flavors lead off with the dark blackand red cherry found on the nose and framed by both a touch of hot spice and chocolate cocoa powder (including a mouth drying textural quality). Savory notes, a touch of cigar-box and soft toasted oak adds depth.
Finish – Long and lingering, this wine’s rich fruit and spice fades first leaving behind the flavors of cherry liquor that blends with the other supporting flavors found on the palate as the medium firm tannins and vibrant acidity linger on.
Conclusion – The 2006 Cumulus Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent example of a classic Paso Robles Cab. Big ripe and fruit forward with rich aromas and flavors that are framed by a sturdy and bold mouthfeel. A great wine to pair with a big steak as recommended by winemakr Richard Gummerman. Enjoy this wine tonight or cellar for the next five to seven years.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Richard Gumerman
WINE EDUCATION: 5 years apprenticing at Wollersheim Winery during crush. Then 6 years here in Paso Robles making wine for 14 different clients and crushing up to 520 tons of grapes per year.
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF:Grew up in Milwaukee, WI and moved to Newport Beach, CA in 1986. Education at University of Notre Dame in Business Finance and Economics. Worked at many financial institutions including General Electric and Bank of America doing Information Technology jobs. Dabbled in growing wine grapes for over 10 years, especially in Prairie du Sac, WI where I farmed Marechal Foch.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Pick the grapes when they are ripe and make the smoothest full bodied wine you can get and age it a long time in oak barrels.
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 02/10/2006
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Richard. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Cumulus Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
RICHARD GUMERMAN: Thanks, Agent White, We are happy to go on another mission with your operatives!
WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
RICHARD: My father was a wine collector all through my childhood. He would teach me about the differences between the different types of wine and where they were from around the world. Then on my honeymoon 22 years ago, we spent two days in Napa Valley and bought 9 cases of wine. We found out a couple of years later that the lowest rated wine that we purchased was 98 out of 100 points on Wine Spectator. So we discovered we knew what the good stuff was.
WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
RICHARD: Philippe Coquard of Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac, WI. Philippe and I became good friends when we moved back to Wisconsin from California in 1996. He grew up in Beaujolais and told me to stick to the old world ways in making your wines. You can never go wrong making a wine that has already proven itself.
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
RICHARD: I make wine mainly for the foodie’s that love to have wine with food. Along the way I also make wine for many other people, both under contract and for the mass market. But my main love is the people that have wine with a meal.
WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
RICHARD: Cumulus is one of our favorite wines. It is smooth and rich in your mouth. It just tastes great. We always age our Reserve Wines for at least 36 months in the barrel before we bottle it. This one was in the barrel for 40 months. This allows the wine to age better than in the bottle, thus being ready to drink earlier.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
RICHARD: I like it with a thick, juicy Filet Mignon and my wife Aurora always saves a little for a dark chocolate dessert. We have food pairings listed right on each bottle of our wine. So if you don’t know what goes with a particular wine, just read our back label and there it is. Another new thing we just started, was putting dates on the bottle when we feel the wine will be at its best to drink. This way, you know how long the bottle can sit around before you drink it. Cumulus shouldn’t have that problem though. You’ll probably enjoy it right away.
WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Paso Robles region so special?
RICHARD: Paso Robles is blessed with a Mediterranean type climate with the added bonus of being cooled at night by the Pacific Ocean. During the growing season the average daily temperature swing is 50 degrees a day. It gets to 100F during the day and cools back down to 50F by morning. Allowing the vines to grow during the day and rest during the night, extending the growing season into October or November for Cabernet.
WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
RICHARD: It is pruning time. This is where we cut all of last year’s growth off the vines and to save the best buds for growing this year’s crop. It has been a dry, warm winter thus far. Who knows what we will have for this year.
WHITE: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
RICHARD: Because we age our reds at least 22 months in oak before bottling, you can expect our wines to be smoother and softer from the beginning. Our wine is meant to be drank with food so you can count on our wines to be a good pairing at any dinner you make or attend at a friend’s house.
WHITE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
RICHARD: Our winery will be celebrating its 50 anniversary in late November. It started as HMR Winery back in 1961 as a 1200 acre ranch. They planted Pinot and Cabernet between rock outcroppings of limestone and by 1976 were making award winning wines that received accolades in Europe. A special competition was held in 1979 like the one in 1976 where Stags Leap won and HMR’s 1976 Pinot beat Romaneé-Conte. Then we bought the property in 2005 and have concentrated on Rhône varietals and Cabernet.
WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
RICHARD: On one final note, I wanted to let your Operatives know that we were forced to change our name earlier this year from Thunderbolt. We chose Twilight Cellars which was the name of our Pinot Noir. I know some people think we did it because of the movies, but we had the name before the movies came out.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Twilight Cellars can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
2006 was quite cold for the last month before harvest so we didn’t pick the grapes until November giving us lots of flavor. Then the wine was aged in 16% new French oak and 3% American oak for 40 months. It has smooth soft tannins, intense rich and luscious dark cherry fruit flavors with subtle tobacco and chocolate overtones on the mid-palate. Delicate fragrant leather and a cherry nose. A long, velvety finish.
Tasting Notes: It has smooth soft tannins, intense rich and luscious dark cherry fruit flavors with subtle tobacco and chocolate overtones on the mid-palate. Delicate fragrant leather and a cherry nose. A long, velvety finish.
Vineyard Notes: Penman Springs Vineyard & Nevarez Vineyard
Food Pairing Notes: Thick juicy Filet Mignon, Grilled Porterhouse Steak, Antelope, Kobe Beef burgers, or a dark chocolate dessert. Good by itself or complementing a fine meal.
About The Winery:
In 1961, with the name Hoffman Mountain Ranch, Dr. Stanley Hoffman and his illustrious winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff began one of the first modern wineries in Paso Robles. In a 1979 Paris wine competition, the 1975 Hoffman Mountain Ranch Pinot Noir placed third in the world in a comparative tasting of 330 wines from 33 countries.1 Their Pinot Noir beat Romanee-Conti in Europe thus securing a place in wine making history. We invite you to visit the winery where it all began. The name has changed to Twilight Cellars but the dedication to craft wine is the same as when Dr. Hoffman and Andre Tchelistcheff began.
Richard and Aurora Gumerman, the new owners, share their passion for food and wine pairings making your visit educational and fun. The winery and grounds are undergoing intensive rebirth. Respect for the land and nature are primary goals for this renovation and beautification. Richard has started replanting the vineyards. So drive down the hill to where history was made.
Twilight Cellars offers Rhone varietals (Syrah, Mourvedre, Rhone blends), Bourdeax varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Alsatian Muscat) and Mundo Viejo and Rapture, exquisitely made Ports.
Richard, a former I.T. consultant, started a small vineyard in the Lake Wisconsin AVA as a hobby. He grew Marechal Foch grapes for Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. Bob Wollersheim encouraged Richard to pursue his new hobby which later became a true labor of love. Aurora, a former pharmaceutical Representative did food and wine pairings as a hobby and later specialized in international cuisine.
With pioneering spirit, they shed their corporate suits and took upon their shoulders a monumental task. The re-vitalization of a historic winery. So, pardon the dust, and come to enjoy a part of Paso Robles history.
If you are wondering about the thunderbolts, fifteen years ago Richard’s vineyard in Wisconsin got struck by Lightning. Not once, not twice, but three times in the first season. Thunderstorms are not common here in California, but the Midwest has it’s share of them. So Richard came up with the name Thunderbolt for his vineyard when he started selling his fruit to Wollersheim Winery down the street. So if you ever visit his old vineyard, watch out on a blustery day for those lightning bolts. Here at Twilight Cellars follow the Red Thunderbolt signs down the road to find the Tasting Room. Also, watch out, a small Thunderstorm may erupt in the Tasting Room.
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon.
Appellation: Paso Robles
Harvest Date: November 10, 2006
Sugar: 24.5 Brix
Acid: 7.0 g/L
Aging: 40 months
Bottling Date: June 20, 2010
Residual Sugar: 0.25 g/L.