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Sextant Wheelhouse Paso Robles Zinfandel 2010

Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
  • WS89
14.8% ABV
  • WE88
  • WS88
  • WS90
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Vintage after vintage, the Sextant Wheelhouse Zinfandel reveals itself with grace and potency. Delectable cherries flow freely on the mid-palate as plums, blackberries, and cranberries jostle on the back-palate. Inklings of smoky cedar, black olives, and spicy sage join the profile as well. It is bold and keen with flavors, but yet so balanced in structure. The acidity is poised and the tannins are finely integrated giving way to an unrelenting, enduring, and monumental finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 89
Wine Spectator
Dense and ripe, but shows plenty of finesse, with aromas of black cherry and toasty vanilla that lead to jammy but structured boysenberry, bay leaf and spice flavors.
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Sextant, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
2010 Wheelhouse Paso Robles Zinfandel
San Luis Obispo always welcomes a new winery to its area but owners, Craig and Nancy Stoller are certainly not new to the industry. Craig is a third generation vine grower following in his father, Glen Stoller’s lead who founded the family owned and operated Sunridge Nurseries in 1977. Craig grew up working in the vineyards and greenhouses at the nursery and was fortunate to be a part of a household where wine was an everyday part of life and also a career.

Sextant Wines has had a great start and the wines are turning out terrific thanks to winemaker Kevin Riley. “He is the perfect fit for Sextant because of his incredible ability to evaluate the differences in wine grape clones and the wines that can be made from them” says Craig. Other people at the helm of Sextant Wines are Mindy Powers who is the company’s operations supervisor; Teresa Deleganna, our Tasting Room attendant and administration assistant; and Justin Meier, Cellar Master. "We have a great team who are enthusiastic and just as passionate about wine grapes and winemaking as I am" says Stoller.

Our goal is to provide high quality wines...another reason to celebrate Sextant’s nautical pinpoint of our great winegrowing location.

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.


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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

YNG205520_2010 Item# 118800