D'Anbino Vineyards & Cellars
Red Blend •Estate Vineyard
California: Paso Robles
What We Say
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Mission Codename: O.M.D.
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Paso Robles, uncover a stellar red blend, secure an amply supply for our blend-thirsty Operatives around the U.S.A.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: D’Anbino Family Cellars
Wine Subject: Orchestration Paso Robles Red Blend
Winemaker: Carmine Rubino
Backgrounder: Paso Robles has long been established as a wine producing region that give 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. Read Agent Reds review, followed by his interview with winemaker Carmine Rubino
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful dark garnet with an inky dark heart of almost Burgundy. The wine has a taught and springy surface that settles down fast – but continues to spin – after swirling, leaving behind thick legs that move slowly down the glass
Smell – Full intensity with deeply aromatic black and red fruits, highlighting plum, dark mixed berry, cherry, cassis and raspberry. These mingle with shaved chocolate, cedar and aromatic black tea
Feel – Tender and fine on the attack, then the wine goes almost immediately to medium-bodied with a rich and layered mid-palate complexity that adds weight and dimension to the feel. This wine evolves, coating the mouth and adding dryness as it reveals additional earthen flavors of dark fruit
Taste – Dark, juicy and ripe, with delicious flavors that mirror the nose. This wine leads off with dark cherry and then reveals mixed berries, plum and raspberry. These are balanced against earthy flavors of sweetwoods, dusky sandalwood, and mild spice
Finish – Ultra-long, rich and dusky with flavors that evolve and change in the mouth. New flavors are revealed as initial flavors tail off tenderly
Conclusion – This is a delicious example of great winemaking from California’s emerging Paso Robles region. This wine has so much to offer, starting with bold but pretty aromatic, and continuing through an evolution of changing flavors that coat the mouth and add complexity and character. Flavors are perfectly integrated and the feel is really intriguing, as it, too, evolves on the palate – right alongside the flavors. I am a big fan of Paso wines, and this wine reinforces my love of wines from the region. This wine gets a big recommendation. Enjoy!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Carmine Rubino
DATE OF BIRTH: September, 1941
PLACE OF BIRTH: New Jersey
WINE EDUCATION: On the job training!
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Loved drinking wine all my life, planted a vineyard 15 years ago and started a winery, now I love making it too.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Food-friendly & approachable
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Syrah, Blends
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Playing bass with the D’Anbino Family Band
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “I’m as passionate about the art wine as I am about the art of music.”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Mister Rubino. We are thrilled to be showing your outstanding Orchestral today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
WINEMAKER: Thanks for having us!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
WINEMAKER: Growing up, our big Italian family would get together every Sunday for dinner. There was always homemade wine at the table and all of us musicians in the family would play music (that’s us on the label). There’s a lot of good memories and nostalgia for me related to wine. After a long career in the music business, it was natural to return to something so enjoyable.
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
CARMINE: Shadowing the winemakers we hired when we first started making wine. I learned the ropes and decided to do things my way, though we do still bring in consulting winemakers at key points. The idea is to get second and third opinions and weigh the options. That way I can gauge my own opinions against others I respect in the wine industry.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
CARMINE: Approachable and food-friendly. We’re making wine to drink with dinner, and drink with friends. We also want to make wine you can enjoy the same night you buy it, but if you do decide to cellar it, you’ll be rewarded.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
CARMINE: No one wine or winemaker comes to mind – there are so many outstanding winemakers in Paso Robles. I do my best to take a little from everyone and be open minded.
RED: How long have you been making wine?
CARMINE: Our first vintage was in 2001.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
CARMINE: I make wine I would enjoy drinking myself, but we get the whole family involved when it comes time to blend. We hope many others out there share our taste. Also, I don’t worry about impressing judges or winning awards, but just try and make the best tasting wine possible. This sometimes means defying the many stigmas of how a great wine is supposed to be made or what it’s supposed to say on the label.
RED: Tell me, what makes the Paso Robles region so special?
CARMINE: Paso Robles is interesting in that there are so many different microclimates; so many elevations, landscapes, soils, moisture levels, wind flows, etc. And also so many ideas of how to approach grape growing and winemaking. It’s really an exciting area and a breeding ground for the next great thing in wine.
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
CARMINE: An apprenticeship in vineyards is very helpful to get ideas of different growing techniques. It all starts in the vineyard, of course. Then be a “cellar rat”. There’s no better training than being around great winemakers doing their thing.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
CARMINE: Just babying the wine. You really have to give it a lot of TLC right from the moment it’s harvested to the moment it goes into the bottle to the moment it hits your lips. It’s a living thing and needs to be cared for as such.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
CARMINE: Orchestration is a blend of mostly Syrah, with Cabernet and a bit of Petite Sirah to make things a little richer. It’s called Orchestration because that is the musical process of combining very different instruments to make one cohesive sound. This blend is smooth and complex, and liked by many who don’t typically like Syrah.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
CARMINE: One of the unique things we do at our tasting room is pair our wines with music as well as food. The Family Band (the one you see on the label) performs the song live while you sample the wine. With our Orchestration we do a musical number that’s smooth and sexy but with a bit of pep, just like the wine. At home, I would recommend pairing Orchestration with “Sway”, or “Harlem Nocturne” if you’re into the standards. If you like something a bit more modern try some John Mayer or Joss Stone. It’ll put you in the right mood to make the wine taste great.
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
CARMINE: I used to mix records into Quadraphonic, a predecessor of surround sound in the late 70’s (and now the name of one of our wine blends). I mixed “Imagine” into Quad and Lennon used to call me the “Quadfather”.
RED:What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
CARMINE: Whatever’s left over at the tasting room.
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
CARMINE: With an attitude of enjoyment. As a family of Italians that all played instruments, wine always came with food, of course, but also great company of family and friends, and the celebration of music. At our tasting room, we re-create this environment to show our guests that it’s not just about the wine itself but how it fits in to a whole experience. Of course each element of the experience needs to be top notch, but combined, the wine and food tastes even better, the music sounds even better, and the company is even warmer.
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
CARMINE: There’s no one wine I would choose. That’s the whole fun of it – discovering something new every day.
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
CARMINE: “How do you remain so humble while making such amazing wines?” Answer: “I have no idea. Who are you, again?”
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 big fans!
CARMINE: Thank you. I hope I didn’t blow it.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the vineyard where today’s wine was born can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
90 Points – Wine Enthusiast
Silver Medal Winner
About This Wine:
Named for the art of layering diverse instruments of the orchestra together to create a unified sound, three varietals combine to create an exotic and inviting blend. Starting with the deep purple-red color, this wine gives layers of bright, plumy fruit, candied cherry, and smoky, woodsy aromas reminiscent of black tea. Exceptionally focused in the mouth, balanced acidity and mild tannins finish with a pleasing, peppery spice.
About The Winery:
Owners and family members John D’ Andrea and Carmine Rubino were raised on the east coast in Newark, New Jersey. "In our local Italian neighborhood, home wine making was a very important event. We can remember around harvest time all our neighborhood grandpas would go down to the local train yards to pick up their order of grapes coming in from California. And then there was the week-long celebration of the crush and barreling of the juice. Up and down the street there sat in the middle of every basement—one prized barrel of liquid art, which every grandpa assiduously attended to and possessively guarded under the lock and key of his watchful eye.
Since our childhood, wine has always played an important part at family meals. Little did we know then, that in the future years to come, we would not only be drinking it, but making it!
Carmine Rubino and John D’Andrea grew up as brothers although Carmine’s mother was John’s grandmother. By their early 20’s, though pursuing separate careers, they were both working in the recording, film and television industries in Los Angeles and New York. On holidays, they and their children would get out their musical instruments and jam with the family band. As partners in the Vineyard and Winery, John and Carmine have put their names together in D’Anbino and put the Family Band on the label!
D’Anbino belongs to the Paso Robles Wine Alliance, the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, and the Paso Robles Main Street Association Paso Robles Main Street Organization.
Type: Non vintage red blend
Varietals: Syrah 60%, Cabernet 25%, Petite Sirah 15%
Appellation: Paso Robles
Brix at Harvest: 25.5
Aging: 24 months in American and French Oak – 33% New, Medium toast
Production: 242 Cases