Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine: Dover Canyon Winery 2004 Alto Pomar  (Paso Robles)

Dover Canyon Winery

2004 Alto Pomar, Alto Pomar Vineyard
(Paso Robles)

Dover Canyon started out as a Bordeaux house, and their Menage (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot) is truly lovely, but one has to tip the hat to winemaker Dan Panico’s other blend efforts of late. This is a very interesting commingling of GSM fruit, and is immediately enjoyable.

For some reason, this wine seems totally perfect for the holiday season. Why? It really has so many of the holiday components for me. It starts with aromas of briar rose, molasses, cherries and root beer: very intriguing and so pleasing. It’s nice when a wine smells so good that you almost (almost) don’t care how it tastes. But as usual, Dan delivers in spades, and this wine sports rich dark cocoa along with equally rich raspberry flavors. In the middle, it’s a delight to find baked Parma ham, along with flavors of wood-fired pizza with leeks and salami. And then, there are nice dark Australian licorice and dark chocolate notes on the finish. In all, a very satisfying and enjoyable wine,

The Alto Pomar vineyard is on a shelf high above Templeton. The name means “high orchard,” and it consistently produces crisp, flavorful fruit. This wine was fermented with Rhone-isolate yeast in open top fermenters, punched down by hand, and aged in French and American oak hogsheads for twenty months.

Ok, so what is with the dog on the label? This story has been told ad infitum, but it is appropriate to simply say here that the dog was Dan’s dear friend in high school and once rescued him from the frothy waves of Santa Cruz. The label took flight one wine-stoked evening with paint brushes handy, and the rest is history. It’s not that easy, however, to recreate great wine, year after year. Somehow, Dan seems to pull it off.

(Alc: 14.5%, Retail: $24)

Reviewed December 19, 2006 by Laura Ness.

Other reviewed wines from Dover Canyon Winery


The Wine

Winery: Dover Canyon Winery
Vineyard: Alto Pomar Vineyard
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Alto Pomar
Appellation: Paso Robles
Grapes: Mourvedre / Mataro (36%), Grenache (33%), Syrah / Shiraz (31%)
Price: 750ml $24.00

Review Date: 12/19/2006

The Reviewer

Laura Ness

A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.