Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, California
Grilled rosemary lamb chops with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted beets.
The 2009 growing season started dry and finished wet in Paso Robles. Preseason rainfall was well below normal for the third year in a row, recording just half of the 12-inch annual average at our home ranch weather station. Chilly April temperatures limited vine growth in the first month after budbreak, but were followed by a warmer month of May with a one-day temperature spike reaching 104°F just after bloom. The low- yielding Cabernet block selected for Cuvee PAU ripened a full two weeks ahead of an unlikely weather event that hampered the vintage with over 6 inches of rainfall. 2009 marks the inclusion of the highest-ever fraction of Malbec in the Cuvée PAU blend (15%), bringing a fresh red fruit finish to the palate.
The inspiration for this blend comes from the Grand Cru wines of the Pauillac district of Bordeaux composed primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot accents. Winemaking is given the freedom to emulate these great wines without the restrictions of varietal percentages, instead keenly focusing on the texture and complexity of the blend that nature delivers with each vintage.