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Booker Vineyard Vertigo 22 2015

Rhone Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
  • RP95
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

To me this was the belle of the ball. Led by powerful Syrah this blend shows off black fruits on the front palate, but if you pay attention you’ll spot some elegant red fruits from the Grenache throughout the middle, finishing with the power of Syrah and Mourvedre. It has just the right amount of whole clusters added to lend an allspice characteristic on the long, sinuous finish.

Blend: 48% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 17% Mourvedre

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Comprised of 48% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 17% Mourvèdre, the 2015 Vertigo 22 has a medium garnet-purple color and nose of dark chocolate, black cherries and blueberries with touches of spice cake, dried herbs and violets. Full, rich and decadent with slowly developing black and blue fruits flavors framed by chewy tannins, it has a long finish with a lovely herbal/perfumed lift.
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Booker Vineyard

Booker Vineyard

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Booker Vineyard, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Booker Vineyard is located on Paso Robles' Westside, immediately joining the famous Stephan Vineyards that produce L'Aventure Wines. The high-density vineyard is mostly Rhone varietals planted on steep hillsides of calcareous shale.

The name Booker comes from the two orphan brothers Claude and Dick Booker who had owned the land, as well as hundreds more acres on Paso's Westside. The Booker brothers were Paso's favorite sons, dedicating their lives to being great farmers and humanitarians. Aside from lending their farming knowledge and manual labor to neighbors and those in need, they were the area's biggest philanthropists, leaving 100% of their estate to charity when they passed.

At Booker Vineyard we have dedicated our lives to farming perfection. We are constantly striving to find perfect balance in our vineyard through sustainable farming practices and methods. Beginning in the spring of 2010 we began our venture into the world of Biodynamics. Our wines are always 100% estate fruit and are a true reflection of the calcareous and salicious shale hillsides provided by our Westside Paso Robles vineyard.

Paso Robles

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Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, fruity, and powerful wines. With 11 smaller sub-AVAs, there is quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.

This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, and Rhône varieties both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruity, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

JFK381052_2015 Item# 381052