You loyal readers know I don't spend a ton of time carrying on about the virtues of wines from Paso Robles. Certainly there are a lot of great wines from this area, and many are well-enjoyed, but I don't personally fall in love with too many wines from Paso. Yesterday I caught a glimpse, a shimmer from the eye of the beauty that can be Paso Robles, and felt the faint flutter of chemistry that left me both excited and intrigued. The layered complexity of today's offer is not to be missed, and left a lasting impression on my wine-heart. Despite the high alcohol, this wine comes off as balanced, harmonious, and elegant, I imagine not too unlike the way an elephant can come off as beautiful and graceful - surprisingly light on its feet, but still towering, massive, and impressive. The cool-story about this wine, and the reason for its name, is that the world's largest coastal oak resides inside this vineyard. It's massive - so much so that it dwarfs the nearby winery! This massive, ancient tree (experts peg this between 450-600 years old), given the name Ancestor, is the namesake for Halter Ranch's top bottling:
Halter Ranch "Ancestor" 2010
Bottle Price: $49.99/bottle
Case Price: $42.73/bottle!!
39% Cabernet Sauvignon
35% Petit Verdot
18 months in 50% New French Oak
Only 900 6-packs made
Multi-layered, intensely complex, and remarkably classy (especially for 15.5% Alcohol). Notes of cinnamon, more on the cinnamon-sugar/cinnamon-bun side of things (Bob called it Streusel), dark inky fruit, lavender, hints of mineral and chocolate. The palate enters gracefully, but present, and the surprising mid-palate is led by the Cabernet's mineral charge that is lusciously tempered by the rich, dark chocolate coating that wraps itself comfortingly around your tongue. The smooth, long, lingering finish is graceful, charming. Fantastic wine! Not really so much for you power-junkies, but fans of big, yet graceful wines will love this! Especially for the price. The unusually high percentages of Petit Verdot and Malbec make this a really unique wine, and an absolute beauty at this mid-price point. Its drinking remarkably well right now, but has the good stuffing to even improve in the cellar. Halter Ranch is also a an extremely eco-friendly winery - SIP Certified, and with a Green Winery that even has rainwater harvesting built into the roof, floors, and drains around the facility.
These guys don't submit for press so I don't have a glowing Parker review for you, but I hope mine will suffice!
Please email Michael Kunz if you're interested in ordering any of this brilliant wine.