What We Say 2005 My Generation - Zinfandel Blend
With a great QPR (quality to Price Ratio), today’s selection from Vines on the Marycrest deserves special recognition as a providing exceptional drinking at an exceptional price
superior wine. If you love Paso red blends, this is an exceptional example of one of our newest favorite Paso wineries
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Mission Codename: Hail Marycrest
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Comb the Paso Robles region and secure a delicious and beautifully balanced red blend, worthy of our exacting Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Vines on the Marycrest
Wine Subject: 2005 My Generation
Winemaker: Victor Abascal
Backgrounder: Paso Robles has long been regarded as a wine producing region that gives other California regions a run for their money. With a climate and soils that make for perfect growing conditions for grapes, it is no wonder. Winemakers in Paso are a somewhat unique breed, often declaring themselves to be the renegades of Cali wine – while delivering wines that are distinctive and delicious. Today’s wine lives up to the promise – and then some!
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – With a color that reminds me of dark cherry juice, this dark and rich-looking wine shows a deep ruby red, with lighter red edges. With a fast-moving surface that takes a while to settle after swirling, this wine leaves behind skinny legs that speed quickly down the glass
Smell – Aromatic and earthy, leading off with sweet red fruit of strawberry, raspberry and cherry. These are lovingly accompanied by soft tomato vine, dark minerals, vanilla and subtle hints of dried meats
Feel – Soft, wet and very smooth. After a long interval, soft tannins gradually make their presence known, adding a hint of dryness and a softly flinty minerality
Taste – Softly dusky at first, then a lovely tart-sweetness shows off great fruit of raspberry, Bing cherry, blueberry and strawberry, with soft oak and black pepper
Finish – Bright, tender and fruity at first, super-long with lingering fruit flavors, subtle spice and soft dark minerals
Conclusion – Another fantastic Paso find, today’s wine is a delicious treat that is really fun to drink. My Generation is a delicious bend with perfect balance and a fantastic feel with the sort of flavors and acidity that makes the wine an easy pairing companion for most meals. I paired my sample bottle over the course of two days. First, with a great Caesar salad, the next day with veggie chow mien. Both of these notoriously difficult to pair with, but this wine matched up beautifully, enhancing my dining experience. This is a lovely wine that is easy to drink, while also providing plenty of interesting flavors and a tender feel.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Victor Abascal
DATE OF BIRTH: September 1963
PLACE OF BIRTH: Culver City, CA
WINE EDUCATION: Self taught + a year at Castoro Cellars in Paso Robles
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Vines on the Marycrest and Castoro Cellars
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Wine for food. No egos.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Zinfandel & Rhone Varietals
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Our 1st Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, after 9 Silver Medals
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: My Daughter stopping grapes, in our brand new winery on her 6th Birthday.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Victor. We are thrilled to be showing your 2005 My Generation today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
WINEMAKER: The pleasure is mine.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
WINEMAKER: A slow title wave of inspiration from many sides. A couple of trips to Napa Valley, and befriending some great people in various tasting rooms really helped kick start things for me. Then, making some wonderful wine as a home winemaker, let me know I had a knack for it.
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
WINEMAKER: Making a huge amount of wine as an amateur. I made some really good wine, and some really bad wine. I was always experimenting, never playing it safe.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
WINEMAKER: Let the grapes do the talking. Understand what the particular grapes you are dealing with can do. Then, take them there.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
WINEMAKER: I’d have to say there are two that come to mind. Paul Draper, from Ridge Winery, and Jonathan and Susan from Cedarville Vineyards in Fairplay, CA.
RED: How long have you been making wine?
WINEMAKER: About ten years
RED: Who do you make wine for?
WINEMAKER: People who can tell the difference. People who most enjoy wine as an accompaniment to a special meal.
RED: Tell me, what makes the Paso Robles so special?
WINEMAKER: Paso Robles is capable of so many styles of wines, even within a given varietal. The difference between East and Westside, and North and South, is what makes this place so exciting.
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
WINEMAKER: Eh…. Don’t! If you must, like I did, know where you are going to sell every bottle of wine, before you make it. And, pick carefully from whom you take your advice .
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
WINEMAKER: Just processing grapes the way I have to do it, takes every waking second. We are pretty “old school” here at VOTM.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
WINEMAKER: Our 2005 My Generation is from our 50 year old Zinfandel vines right here on the ranch. These are the oldest Richard Saruet planted Zinfandel vines in Paso Robles. Big, ripe Zin, blended with Syrah, Mourvedre and Petite Sirah. A very large wine, as our wines go. It was a Silver Medal winner at the San Francisco Wine Competition in 2008.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
WINEMAKER: Amazing with BBQ ribs, or a straight up Steak. Strong cheese and crusty bread.
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
WINEMAKER: I’m really tired! Let me try that again… I never give up. But a lot of people know that about me… You got me on this one… I have a birthmark on my left leg. There ya go!
RED:What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
WINEMAKER: I trade wines with friends around Paso and other regions in California. So my favorite wine is something new I just got, and have never tried before. I buy very little wine these days.
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
WINEMAKER: Think about what you are eating. Research the varietal, and try to eat something with the wine you might not have ever tried before. With our wines, and the way they are made. Decant!! 45 minutes, and have a ball!
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
WINEMAKER: I think it would be a Grand Cru Burgandy. No particular winery or vintage, just a great one.
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
WINEMAKER: Why on earth did you take up this profession? Answer: I had a calling. But I’m not sure who, or what was calling me!
It’s truly a labor of love, nothing else.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are
WINEMAKER: My pleasure. Now, back to harvest!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the vines on the Marycrest winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Vines on the Marycrest
Awards & Accolades:
Silver Medal Winner ~ 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
About This Wine:
A Zinfandel from our estate vineyard and the neighboring, Remo Belli Vineyard, is blended with the classic Rhone varietals. A huge, ripe super-tanker of a wine. Round and full, this is a perfect example of the “new” breed of Paso Robles wine.
About The Winery:
Vines on the Marycrest is driven by a love of wine, winemaking and farming. Old vine zinfandel, tempranillo and Rhône varietals are dry-farmed and head-pruned. Wines are handcrafted blends which capture the spirit of the Paso Robles appellation.
Located on 26 acres of rolling hills in the westside of Paso Robles, Vines on the Marycrest was established in 2004 as the dream of owner and winemaker, Victor Abascal.
Victor and his wife Jennifer are passionate about Paso Robles wines. With its dry hot days, cool nights and limestone soils, Paso Robles lends itself particularly well to growing premium Zinfandel and the Rhône grape varieties. They believe their wines should be an artfully creative accompaniment to a delicious meal shared with friends.
Victor continues his double life as a Winemaker and a Technical Engineer in the entertainment business, while Jenni manages the farm, kids and day to day winery operations. The full story of how Vines on the Marycrest came about is told on thewinerychannel.tv. Also, you can read Erika Schickel’s article in the L.A. Weekly from 2002.
Composition: 45% Zinfandel, 28% Syrah, 18% Mourvedre, 9% Petite Sirah.