Epoch Estate Red Blend 2015
The savory, the floral and the fruity all unite in the 2015 Epoch Estate Blend that speaks to all of Epoch’s wine practices. This focused and seamless expression of the terroir shoots across the palate with notes of raw and smoked meats, black olives, roasted herbs, cherry, cassis, anise, lavender and vanilla dust.
Blend: 53% Syrah, 26% Mourvèdre, 13% Grenache, 5% Tempranillo, 3% Zinfandel
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Concentrated black cherry, elderberry and blackberry meet with crushed dark chocolate, mint and pencil shavings on the nose of this blend of 53% Syrah, 26% Mourvèdre, 13% Grenache, 5% Tempranillo and 3% Zinfandel. The hefty palate combines flavors of dark fruits with nutmeg and clove elements, framed by chalky tannins and subtle but persistent acidity.
What used to be the entry-level effort of the estate, the 2015 Estate Blend is year in, year out at an incredible quality level that it’s hard to think of the wine those terms. The 2015 is 52% Syrah, 26% Mourvèdre, 13% Grenache, and the rest Tempranillo and Zinfandel, all from the Paderewski and Catapult vineyards on the west side of Paso Robles. It offers a terrific bouquet of black plums, ground pepper, charred meats and charcoal. Full-bodied, smoky, meaty, and rich, it stays light and graceful on the palate, with sweet tannins.
Epoch's entry-level red, the 2015 Estate Blend reveals aromas of ripe blackberries, currant leaf, cracked black pepper and subtle grilled meat. On the palate, it's full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a multidimensional mid-palate, good energy and a savory finish.
Founded in 2004 by geologists, Bill and Liz Armstrong, Epoch has quickly developed a big reputation for handcrafted, small-production wines with abundant personalities. Under the careful care of Winemaker, Jordan Fiorentini, Epoch is committed to producing world-class wines from Rhône, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo varieties grown on their three west Paso Robles vineyards – Paderewski, Catapult, and York Mountain. Epoch’s Tasting Room and Winery are located on the storied York Mountain which was once home to the first bonded winery on the central coast. Preserving the rich history found on this property as well as Paderewski Vineyard, a sight once owned and cherished by the late Polish Prime Minister and pianist, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Epoch strives to carry on these legacies through their wines and the unique Epoch experience.
Through carefully managed, non-invasive farming, Epoch aims to bring the complex character of their vineyards into each bottle of wine they craft. All of Epoch's fruit comes from their three specific and unique sites: Paderewski, Catapult, and York Mountain Vineyards.
PADEREWSKI VINEYARD: Travel just west of Paso Robles, and you will find Paderewski Vineyard: 67 acres of undulating, steep, limestone rich hillsides within 570 rural, spring-fed acres.
CATAPULT VINEYARD: Directly in the heart of the Paso Robles’ Templeton Gap, near the acclaimed L’Aventure and Booker Vineyards, sits Catapult Vineyard.
YORK MOUNTAIN: Located just seven miles from the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1,500 feet, this property falls in the small 640 acre York Mountain AVA, which is outside of the very large Paso Robles AVA.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
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, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.