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Justin Obtuse 2003

Port from California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Obtuse is Justin Vineyards & Winery's American-style Port made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. We adhere to traditional vinification and maturation methods to make this wine. In cooler growing seasons, color extraction is often more difficult and may require the addition of pectic enzymes that help free color from the grape skins before fermentation. Once fermentation begins, the juice is pumped over the cap several times per day to extract color and flavor from the skins. The sugar concentration of the fermenting must is closely monitored. When it reaches the desired level of residual sugar, typically in 3 to 4 days, the fermenting must is pressed off and fermentation is stopped with the addition of 170° proof unaged grape brandy. At this point, the wine is adjusted to an alcohol content of approximately 20%. After the fortification process, the Port style wine is placed in large neutral French oak barrels called puncheons, which are twice the size of traditional 225-liter barrique barrels. The wine is then racked once every three to four months during the one to two-year aging period for a natural clarification and to allow for maturation and integration of the brandy and the wine. This wine is unfined and unfiltered.

    Tasting Notes
    The wine has dark ruby color. A bittersweet chocolate note accentuates jammy fruit aromas of raspberry, sweet cherry and plum. The wine is lush and sumptuous on the palate with chocolate, cherry and rich plum flavors.

    The wine can be drunk now but will further evolve over the next 5 to 7 years. A bottle cellared over 5 years should always be decanted. Enjoy! An open bottle develops a nutty, tawny port character over time and under proper care may which be kept for up to 6 months.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Justin

    Justin

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    Justin, , California
    Justin
    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.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

    In the Glass

    Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

    Perfect Pairings

    Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

    WWH3022602_2003 Item# 81645

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