I really like the wines Justin puts out, especially their Cabernet Sauvignons. Each year is good. I’ve been drinking them for quite a number years. I enjoyed, and even wrote about the 2007 here: In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day Forty-Four. I especially loved their Isosceles, but I don’t think they make it anymore
Anyway, I like Justin Cabernet Sauvignon’s so much that when my nephew was 18, I knew exactly what I would get him for his 21st birthday – a bottle of Justin Cabernet Sauvignon. A fine present 21st birthday present I think. And it’s an awesome gift when your nephew’s name is Justin. He has been given his bottle. I don’t know if he opened yet. Nonetheless, I am opening my bottle tonight.
But before I do that, I’d like to mention that this wine is from the Paso Robles region in California, which is about mid-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco surrounding Route 101.
I’d love to drive that whole road one summer or fall. I’d love to try all the clam chowder along that road. I did that once from Seattle to the southern most part of Oregon. Oh man. Good soup on that ride. Good wines, too. Oh, I brought that up because I stumbled upon the Paso Robles website today. It’s here: Paso Robles. And here’s an interactive map of most, or all, of the wineries in Paso Robles: Paso Robles winery map. Paso Robles, by the way, means Pass of the Oaks. (Justin Vineyards is above the “Downtown Paso Robles” zoom-in box.)
To the wine. I dedicate this tasting to my Nephew. Man, I hope it’s good for his sake. Yikes.
You know what I think this tasting needs? A clarion call. I need to be called to drink this wine. I need a calling like Freddie Hubbard at the beginning of “Straight Life.” His clarion call called all the musicians to join him for a jam.
(Man, you got to hear the song on the album Straight Life. It’s even better than here, especially the clarion call. It’s like – Guys, I’m here, and we’re going go some place you’ve never been before.)
Anyway, to liquid love. I’ve been called.
I’m a little concerned here. I can see through it. It’s not as opaque as I expect it to be. Actually, the sides are but not the middle. It’s some weird optical illusion – dark on the side, semi-transparent in the middle. To the nose.
The nose. Oh, the nose. The nose smells of the joys one can have on Route 101 and of the mushrooms one might find along Route 101. One might pick up on the nose, like my girlfriend correctly noted, some salmon cooked in an 18-year-old balsamic vinegar glaze. (The best 18-year-old balsamic vinegar comes from F. Olivers. Oh, man. I’m so hungry for that meal.) There’s some cherries and some spice or spices like chai tea.
Well, this isn’t as good as previous years. It’s thin for a Cab, and, well, there’s not much going on. Not much flavor and the finish is lame and uninteresting. Well, it’s lame and uninteresting because I expected so much. If I wasn’t expecting a cab, I might enjoy this more. But it is smooth. It’s smooth like Freddie Hubbard’s horn.
The more I drink this and try to think of what other wine it could be, the more I try to enjoy it, but I can’t. It’s not interesting to me. It’s meh.
It’s ok, but at $20, it’s not. There are better cabs, better wines for half the price.
I’m sorry nephew Justin. As for you Justin Vineyards, sigh. Until next year.//