California: Paso Robles
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
We always feature great wines, but today’s wine is incredibly great! Grab some, Operative, before we run out
Shipping Included on 6 bottles or more. Enter this coupon code at checkout (discount will be shown before you complete your order): SPYZIN
Mission Codename: Unfathomable Potential
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Wine Spies Operatives demand great Zinfandel – the more concentrated the better. Send Agent Red to the Paso Robles to retrieve a mega Paso Zin
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Cayucos Cellars
Wine Subject: 2002 Zinfandel
Winemaker: Stuart Selkirk
Reports have been flooding in to Wine Spies Central Command about and their passion for crafting richly delicious artisan wines. After visiting the winery, Agent Red returns to Central Command with his spoils, a load of bottles of today’s great Zinfandel. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep garnet to almost burgundy in color with perfect clarity and color that remains concentrated right to the edges of the wine. This wine has a tight and shimmery surface that settles quickly when swirled, leaving behind skinny legs that creep down the glass
Smell – A deep inhalation delivers a deep rush of layered fruits of juicy raspberry, blackberry, and plum, with wonderful spice, cocoa, henna (unique!), black pepper and earthen components
Feel – Round and wet, then slightly tight and velvety smooth, mouth-coating and supple with great medium tannins that dry and make you want to smack your lips!
Taste – Delicious and concentrated without being overpowering. The wine has layers of sweet berry jam, ripe plum, cherry, pomegranate, raspberry, a hint of rosemary and mild spice
Finish – Rich layers of flavor taper slowly, leaving behind a slight dryness and sweetness that makes you yearn for your next big sip. An interesting note: A flavor of toasty sweetwood appears long after you swallow the wine. I discovered it by waiting for a long interval between sips. Unique and really tasty!
Conclusion – This is a GREAT wine, making me an instant Cayucos fan. Deeply concentrated with big jammy flavors, this wine tastes great. The feel is perfect and the finish is long, with a unique follow-on or secondary finish of toasty sweetwood. Overall, a really great wine with a fabulous QPR!
The following is a transcript of Agent Red’s recent conversation with Cayucos’ winemaker Stuart Selkirk:
AGENT RED: I know that you are busy today, so we’ll keep this brief.
STUART SELKIRK: Whew!
RED: Have you always been a local wine guy?
STUART: Local guy, yes, wine guy, no. I was born and raised here in Cayucos I was a builder once upon a time. Then, one day in 1983, I learned that a friend was growing grapes. I started fooling around with that, too. I got sucked in to the business sideways!
RED: You’ve been making wine since then?
STUART: Yes, but not good wine. That is, not until after I had learned by trial and error. Although, I always made wine in the Swiss method, allowing nature to do its thing – without too much interference.
RED: So, you are more of a steward than a scientist when it comes to making wine?
RED: When did you finally go commercial?
STUART: Well, my hobby became a business when, in 1995, I made too much wine. Like an idiot, I got bonded and became a formal winery. Rather than give it all away, I figured I’d sell it. I never dreamed that I would be a full-time winemaker.
RED: Your wines stay in barrel for a long time – up to 7 years, I have heard. Why so long.
STUART: I use only neutral oak, which imparts no flavors to the wines. This leads to more of the fruit coming through, where oak can tend to overpower a wine – or be poorly integrated with a wine.
RED: The fruit certainly does come through in today’s wine. Can you tell me about your vineyard sources?
STUART: Well, I could tell you, but then, you know…
RED: Ahhh. You must have a Top Secret source. Can’t tell us who you buy your fruit from?
STUART: Nope. I can tell you that one of the vineyards produces Zinfandels that cost around $50. Mine is just $28. Even less on The Wine Spies during your one-day sale.
RED: We like Top Secret sources! Your wine is great and I’ll be sure to ask our Operatives to review the wine once they get their hands on some. Thanks for spending this time with me today!
STUART: My pleasure…
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Cayucos Cellars tasting room can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This Zinfandel begs to be enjoyed with food. Extremely refreshing, it makes your mouth pucker like a five year old popping sour apple and cherry candies on a summer’s day. With fruit in the nose, raspberry, pomegranate, and rosemary in the mouth, this is the perfect Zin to cool your taste buds down.
About The Winery:
Deep in the hills of Cayucos, there lies an old dairy barn, no longer smelling of cows, fresh milk, and their leavings, but of fermenting grape must, ceremoniously spilt wine, and strong oak. Transformed from its fragrant beginnings, this humble structure, and home to Cayucos Cellars, has become a sanctuary of cool waiting, and unfathomable potential hiding in every barrel. With the help of the nibbling and gnawing of wild yeasts working their magic on naught but the finest fruit to be had in the land, the balefully bubbling and slowly seething substances endure many a long year confined to the clutches of neutral oak. With patience for everything in its proper time, these are the qualities apparent that define our wines.
It all began in the auspicious year of nineteen hundred and ninety six, when winemaker Stuart, wife Laura, sons Clay and Ross, and daughter Paige, embarked upon the journey of creating a small family owned and operated winery. We of the Selkirk family invite you to our tasting room, located in beautiful downtown Cayucos, just a step from the beach, to partake in an ambrosial experience, where fine wine and a warm welcome will always be awaiting you.
Cayucos Cellars is truly the quintessential small family winery. Owned and operated solely by our small family of five, we have no employees or minions to rely upon but ourselves. Each of us may be found in the tasting room from time to time, pouring wine, interacting with those from far and wide, and always enjoying a good chat. All of the wines produced by Cayucos Cellars are fermented using only the inherent abilities of wild yeast, and are aged for three to six years in neutral oak barrels before bottling. With a production of between five hundred and eight hundred cases of premium wine annually, we are able to indulge an incredible attention to detail in each and every bottle. Our winery, located in an old dairy barn in the coastal hills above Cayucos, hides on a working ranch, thus we felt it prudent to place the tasting room in town to prevent anyone being flattened by a tractor. Stop on by our tasting room and you will be greeted by none other than winemaker Stuart, his wife Laura, sons Clay, Ross, or daughter Paige. Feel free to explore our website to learn more about whom we are, the wonderful wines we make, and why we celebrate wild yeast.