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Justin Isosceles 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Central Coast, California
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14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Bright with a dark ruby purple core lightening slightly at the rim. Aromatic with ripe black cherry, cassis and a touch of red berry brightness, with toasted vanilla, licorice, and cinnamon spice combined with cedar and subtle smoky cocoa notes. Full bodied with black cherry, black currant, and red berry fruit on the entry, mixed with complex spice of vanilla, licorice and cola accents. The mid-palate shows savory cabernet notes with smoky cedar, chocolate, and continuing ripe black fruit. The finish is very long and full with bright cherry candy fruit and spice, balanced with firm, plush tannins that will smooth out even more with each year as this wine matures. The 2011 Isoceles has great fruit character while remaining elegant and balanced on the palate, continuing the quality winemaking tradition started 25 years ago.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made from 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc that spent 24 months in new French oak, the 2011 Isosceles offers classic lead pencil, cedar, hints of herbs and both cassis and currant-styled fruit in its approachable, full-bodied and elegant profile. It's beautifully made, has no hard edges and can be consumed anytime over the coming decade or more.

These first-rate efforts are made by Scott Shirley, who made wine in Napa Valley for 13 years before coming to Paso Robles. The focus here is on the Bordeaux varieties, and they do a fabulous job with them.

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Justin

Justin

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Justin, Central Coast, California
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Justin and Deborah Baldwin acquired their land in 1981 and planted 72 acres in vineyards that same year. Initially they were wine growers, selling to other wineries. Then, in 1987, they harvested their first grapes bottled under the Justin label. Justin Winery concentrates on two Bordeaux styled red wines: Isoscleles, which is a 100% estate blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc and Justification, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Varietals are planted to specific soil types on their hillside vineyards 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean, on the Central Coast.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

SWS357130_2011 Item# 131558