Wine Enthusiast 92
Vina Robles 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles). This bottling exhibits the richness that’s made Paso Robles famous, yet at a price point that’s great for frequent indulgence. Inky in the glass, the bottling’s lush nose offers concentrated black cherry, caramel, cocoa and coffee. It’s soft and smooth on the palate, where the black-cherry compote flavors are lifted by star anise and clove. Editors’ Choice. March, 2019 —M.K.
The fruit for our 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon was selected from two of our estate vineyards in Paso Robles – Huerhuero and Creston Valley. Huerhuero Vineyard, in the hilly terrain between the El Pomar and Geneseo Districts, benefits from the moderating Pacific breezes that blow through the Templeton Gap in the afternoon as well as its limiting calcareous subsoils. Creston Valley Vineyard has picture perfect high terrain, southern exposure and shallow soils with noticeable granulated limestone. Both of these vineyards produce Cabernet Sauvignon with an overall balance of expressive flavors and structure. All the blocks were handpicked and sorted in the early morning to ensure quality and uniformity of ripeness. Then the fruit was destemmed and gently crushed into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Pumpovers took place regularly to enhance color and help extract tannins from the skin. After pressing, the wine was racked into barrels to complete malolactic fermentation. While the majority of wine was aged in French oak, we also used some American and Hungarian oak barrels for added nuances and complexity. After 8 months of aging and extensive blending trials, a bit of Petit Verdot was added to enhance structure. The final blend was then aged in barrels for an additional 12 months to fully integrate before bottling.
Aroma: Cassis, blueberry, cedar and anise, with hints of black olives and juniper berry
Taste: Full-bodied with cassis and blueberry, licorice notes, chewy and chalky tannins
Vineyard Blend: Creston Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 55%, Huerhuero Cabernet Sauvignon 29%, Huerhuero Petit Verdot 16%
Aging: 20 months in French, Hungarian, and American oak barrels
Bottling date: 06.06.18 - 06.20.18
Release date: October, 2018
Cases produced: 22,326
Total acidity: 5.5 g/L
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Vina Robles is the result of a unique personal trajectory, one that led winery founder Hans Nef from a rural village outside Zurich, Switzerland to the rugged terrain of California's Central Coast.
As a child in Switzerland, Nef learned to appreciate his rural surroundings and the blessings of agriculture. It was this special appreciation that lead him to expand his interests into agricultural land in the southern United States in the early 1990s. At the same time, he leveraged his passion for fine wine into his own wine import business, furthering his appreciation for California wines.
Each time Nef traveled to the U.S., he brought with him the desires to not only be true to nature but also to grow his own wine. This is when he discovered Paso Robles in the mid-1990s and quickly became enamored with the emergent wine country. Here, where the Pacific coastline unfolds into rugged ranchlands and cowboy ambiance, a new generation of California winemakers was turning Paso Robles into one of the world's most dynamic winegrowing regions.
Soon, Nef was inspired to embark on his own idea for a Paso Robles winery, one that would honor his European roots while embracing the unique growing region in order to pursue his dream of producing world-class wines.
In 1996 Nef selected longtime friend and business associate Hans – R. Michel, a Swiss expatriate, as managing partner. A year later, the duo planted the first of what would later become six vineyards in Paso Robles, and soon thereafter Vina Robles was born. Winemaker Kevin Willenborg joined the team in 2012.
In 2007, Nef achieved another goal with the opening of the Vina Robles Hospitality Center, a 14,000-square-foot facility that combines classic California Mission-style design with modern European elegance. The center features a tasting room as well as several venues for public and private events. In summer of 2013, the Vina Robles Amphitheatre celebrated its grand opening and now hosts around 30 world-class artists April through October each year.