It is hot. But we have steak, broccoli, and purple potatoes. That, and my mother-in-law has arrived with wines from Paso Robles: that warm, central coast Cali region that grows a wild diversity of grape varieties.
Tonight’s offering, a red blend from Lone Madrone:
Grapes come from the Klau Mine Vineyard, tended by the Dodd family in old school fashion: dry farmed and head pruned in the cooler hills of western Paso’s Adelaide region. A rare borderlands grape from Basque country in the French Pyrenees called Tannat makes up the most of it with 61%. The grape snuck into Paso thanks to a French nurseryman who knew better than Tablas Creek. 15% Zinfandel, 14% Petit Verdot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon follow. Wild yeast do their thing, then a mix of 90% used American oak barrels finish the wine in 18 months.
Lone Madrone, The Dodd, Red Blend, Paso Robles CA 2011
The APPEARANCE looks a deep ruby color that clears to a narrow rim, while washing vine-like legs. Wild AROMAS pounce with a feral musk, violet flowers, folding into figs, saddle leather, bourbon vanilla, white smoke (hi, American oak). The dry PALATE feels crisp and crunchy, with a worn knife edge of medium acidity, lean tannins, medium alcohol and body, Fruits dominate FLAVORS with extra berries, mulling spices, orange peel, and a range of spices finishing with leather and pine needles that last a medium plus length.
Lone Madrone’s The Dodd Red is sprightly and wild yet dark and complex. It is very good (4 of 5) and stands up to any grilled goods your summer will offer.