Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Grey Wolf Meritage Paso Robles

Grey Wolf Cellars

2003 Meritage, Lineage Blend
(Paso Robles)

Your eyes have to claw their way through this huge purple wine just to get to the big fat Bordeaux nose. Winemaker Joe Barton, one of the youngest I’ve ever met, was flung into the business when his father was killed about 8 years ago. It was a tragedy that forged a budding talent into a brilliant manifestation. Guided by his grandfather, and practically every totally cool winemaker in the area (and y’all know who you are), young Joe Barton, as we like to call him, has proven himself not just a worthy successor to his father and grandfather, but a totally unique tour de grapes on his own. As Joe says in his winemaker notes, this wine, called Lineage Blend, is a tribute to the legacy of the Barton Family winemakers, past, present and future. He adds that the paths of heredity in the wolf pack are the purest symbol of a tightly woven thread of existence that wolves share. This was the inspiration behind Grey Wolf Cellars, whose labels always tastefully incorporate wolves. The corks and foils contain distinctive paw prints, and the wine names always evoke the spirit of the wolf pack. Having had a wolf dog myself, I can testify to their extreme intelligence and sense of purpose: they very much understand their role in the pack and in the universe.

This wine positively reeks of leather, cedar, peppers, peppered bacon, cigar box and currants. In fact, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of being in a full humidor, you’ll at least be able to imagine some of this wine. On the palate, it is at first big, dense, lush and slightly edgy with blackberries and chocolate, giving way to intense mincemeat pie flavors, with an entire spice rack of spices and herbs that pack in tarragon and black pepper. Meaty, filled with currants and licorice, this wine won’t quit. It transitions to blueberries and chocolate, then to coffee, and never stops flinging its layers of wonderful spices at you. The fruit came from Cougar Ridge in Adelaida; the Cerro Prieto and Jacobsen Vineyards, both in the Templeton Gap; and from Swetland in San Miguel. I felt bad that I had opened this wine so young: it’s one of those you want to age for a few years to see how it will develop. Guess that means it’s time to buy a case! Best: 2007 - 2014

(Alc: 13.5%, Retail: $28)

Reviewed August 22, 2006 by Laura Ness.

Other reviewed wines from Grey Wolf Cellars


The Wine

Winery: Grey Wolf Cellars
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Meritage, Lineage Blend
Appellation: Paso Robles
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Petit Verdot (30%), Merlot (20%)
Price: 750ml $28.00

Review Date: 8/22/2006

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.