2014 Epoch Estate, Ingenuity Red, Willow Creek District, Paso Robles.
This vintage is really getting better and better in the bottle and this Epoch Estate cuvee Ingenuity is coming into its own with gorgeous layers of fruit that are perfectly integrating into a world class wine, bravo to Jordan Fiorentini, winemaker, on this incredible Rhone style red. The ripe richness and full body, with surprisingly high alcohol, somehow all comes together and the impression on the palate is one of complete harmony and balance, much in the same way some Chateauneuf-du-Pape in recent times do, and the Ingenuity, which is Syrah heavy gives a darker profile, along with its backbone of sweet tannin, gives a more structured vigor and feel, rather than heat or weight. This vintage of Epoch’s Ingenuity was made from 50% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre and 7% Petite Sirah all coming from estate vines at their Catapult and Paderewski vineyard sites in the west side of Paso Robles in the hillsides of the Willow Creek District which are set on the limestone and shale rich soils. The terroir here gives intensely deep flavors and density, but with dynamic acidity that helps give this wine its class and energy, the 2014 version delivers this with blackberry, currant, boysenberry, plum and blueberry fruit along with dark floral notes, mineral tones, fresh pepper, minty herb/anise, baked earth, black olive and delicate wood toast with a hint of vanilla, cedar and lingering framboise. This wine is losing some of its youthful jammy elements as well as camphor or tar, which are moving into the background as it becomes more and more refined and the texture is quite heavenly.
The whole lineup at Epoch is impressive, with vintages ’14, ’15 and ’16 all showing fantastic strength across the selection, especially the reds, but I highly recommend checking out the Estate White and their fabulous dry pink wine too, plus I am excited about the Epoch Tempranillo, which shows lots of promise, in fact I had to get a magnum of it to lay down, these are intriguing wines that are some of Paso’s best along with L’Aventure, Saxum and Booker to name a few. Fiorentini, who’s talent is well reported, has a modern winery and cave to employ her magic, along with excellent grapes to work with, thanks to the investment and commitment of the winery’s owners. The handcrafted 2014 Ingenuity was fermented in separate varietal lots in a combination of stainless steel tank and beautiful custom concrete tanks, plus some in open top small bin fermentors, all of which was done with mostly gravity flow and gentle handling, but with long macerations before being aged for 18 months in both small barrique and larger puncheons, of which about a third was new oak. Air and time in the glass reveals even more thrilling details, aromatics and the after taste just goes on and on, it makes for stellar performance and again, while 15.7% alcohol, this really drinks with poise and is seriously good with food, in particular grilled meats, fatty dishes, hard cheeses and wild boar sausage, drink over the next 3 to 5 years.
($69 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive