Search for Events
Wine of the Day via RSS
Recent Blog Articles
- A Tale of Two Conferences
- Cats and Dogs Blogging Together
- Getting the Wine Bloggers Conference We Deserve
- New White Wines and Rosés from Rutherford's Day in the Dust
- Examining 2011 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
- 6 More California Rhone Wines to Try at Rhone Rangers
- Lodi Zinfandel Goes Native
- Study: Researchers Discover New Taste
- He Wasn't Talking To You, Mr. Outrage
- 16 North Coast Rhones to Try and a Toothsome #WineChat
- How Many Wines do Critics Taste per Day?
- Howell Mountain Spring Tasting Wrap Up
- Of Tasting Notes and Photographs
- Rhone Rangers Tastings and Rhone-Variety Wines Tasted
- How Critics Taste Wines - Glassware
- More Thoughts on Blind vs. Non-Blind Tasting
- A Great Tasting on Balance
- How Critics Taste Wines - On Blind Tasting
- On "Unexpected Napa Valley Wines"
- Robert Parker's Advice to Wine Writers
Recent Wines of the Day
- 2010 Moone-Tsai Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
- 2009 Hawk and Horse Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2010 Skinner Vineyards Estate Mourvedre, El Dorado
- 2012 Masut Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Mendocino County
- 2010 Gallica Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
- 2011 Harney Lane Old Vine Zinfandel Lizzy James Vineyard Lodi
- 2006 Santana Supernatural Rosé by Mumm Napa
- 2011 Jekel Riesling Monterey and 2011 Jekel Pinot Noir Santa Barbara
- 2012 Matthiasson Chardonnay Linda Vista Vineyard Napa Valley
- Review from the Cellar - 2010 Qupé Mourvedre Ibarra-Young Vineyard
- 2012 Tres Sabores Rosé “Ingrid and Julia” Napa Valley
- 2011 Testarossa Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- 2009 Lucia Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- Review: 2009 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
- 2008 Vin Roc Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak Napa Valley
- 2009 Cornerstone Cellars “The Cornerstone” Napa Valley
- 2009 Laetitia Pinot Noir Single Vineyard La Colline Arroyo Grande Valley
- 2010 Lange Twins Chardonnay Estate Grown Clarksburg AVA
- 2012 Borra Vineyards Artist Series Kerner Lodi AVA
- 2010 Wren Hop Pinot Noir “Fire Messenger” Sonoma Coast
Wine of the Day
- Red Rhone Blend
- Written by Fred Swan
- Thursday, 22 March 2012 20:33
Epoch Wines, a Rhone-variety specialist, makes wine from two estate vineyards in the Paso Robles AVA. Bill and Liz Armstrong founded Epoch in 2004. Their winemaker is Jordan Fiorentini, previously head winemaker at Chalk Hill. Prior to that she worked at Araujo Estate, Antinori in Italy and earned a masters in enology and viticulture from U.C. Davis. Justin Smith (Saxum Vineyards) acts as consulting winemaker and also assisted the Armstrong’s in selecting and planting their vineyards.
The History Behind Epoch Wines' Properties
Epoch’s tasting room is next door to the historic York Mountain Winery. They purchased that winery in 2010, along with its 150 acres of land in the very cool climate York Mountain AVA. It is the oldest winery in the Central Coast, created in 1882 by Andrew York. He called it Ascension Winery. It was renamed York Brothers Winery in 1911 when his sons, Silas and Walter York, took over. Walter continued to operate the winery until 1970 when it was purchased by Max Goldman who changed its name to York Mountain Winery. It was later acquired by Martin & Weyrich. The winery building, made of huge wood beams and hand-formed bricks, was devastated by the 2003 San Simeon earthquake and is currently unusable. The vineyard land has been fallow for some time too. Epoch has plans to restore both beginning late 2012.
Aside from its early beginnings, York Mountain Winery’s major claim to fame is that Ignacy Paderewski (1860 - 1941) used to bring his grapes there for vinification. Paderewski was a Polish-born concert pianist (the first pianist to solo at Carnegie Hall) and statesman (the first Prime Minister of independent Poland, 1919). He bought a 2,000 acre ranch in Paso Robles in 1914 and eventually settled there. In the mid-1920‘s, Paderewski had 200 acres of vines planted, primarily Zinfandel. His wine was considered quite good, but the vineyard gradually went fallow after his death.
About the Paderewski Vineyard
All of this does lead back to Epoch and today’s wine. Epoch now owns the Paderewski Vineyard which they purchased in 2004 and replanted in 2005. They farm it using organic practices and are moving toward biodynamics, though they won’t necessarily certify. Saxum Vineyards also produces wine from the vineyard. (Epoch's other estate vineyard is Catapult Vineyard which lies near the Booker and L'Aventure vineyards off of Anderson Road. Catapult is biodynamic as of this year.)
The Paderewski Vineyard comprises 65 acres high in the Adelaida district. Total acreage is 350. The vineyard features many elevation changes with steep slopes and rocky — primarily calcareous — soils. Its grape varieties now include the Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre found in Veracity, plus Petite Sirah, Counoise, Zinfandel, Tempranillo, Marsanne and Viognier. Roughly 7.5% of the Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre are own-rooted.
The Wine and the 2009 Vintage in Paso Robles
The signal event of the 2009 vintage in Paso Robles was an October 13 deluge. That storm dropped more than 10 inches of rain. Winemaker Jordan Fiorentini told me the grapes the Veracity were all picked before the skies opened up. She added that the Paderewski crop size was good and the grapes fully ripe. Fermentation for the 2009 Veracity was done with native yeasts. 72% of the fermentation took place in square, locally-manufactured, concrete tanks with the remainder in stainless steel.
The 2009 Epoch Veracity is dark ruby in the glass. The bouquet is generous with red cherry, blueberry, cocoa, chocolate, oak, allspice and a delicate floral note. The wine is nearly full-bodied with fine powdery tannins that balance the alcohol and rich flavors but are not drying. Fruit abounds. Red and black cherry, warm plum and blackberry are complemented by oak and loads of chocolate. The finish is lengthy and maintains the balance of tannin and fruit to the end. Drink now through 2020. Highly Recommended.
2009 Epoch “Veracity” Paso Robles
Rating: Highly Recommended
Drink: Now through 2018
Release Date: Fall, 2011
Production: 373 cases
Retail Price: $55, available from the tasting room
Blend: 36% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 32% Mourvedre
Origin: Paderewski Vineyard, Paso Robles
Aging: 20 months in French oak barrels, 38% new
The wine above was purchased for review.
Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook. Also check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.
This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.