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Alma Sol Reserve Cabernet

December 04, 2015
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In 2012, Mother Nature offered up a long, warm growing season in Paso Robles to the delight of John Shaw, winemaker and proprietor of Alma Sol Winery in Thousand Oaks. This temperate weather meant the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Halter Ranch, on the west side of Paso Robles, could linger on the vines and be harvested at their peak. For what this means in a glass, look to the boutique winery’s newly released 2012 Reserve Cabernet.

“From the nose to the finish, this wine is lush, velvety, full-bodied, fruit forward, with a long finish,” says Shaw. “This wine is quintessential Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon.”

The Bordeaux-style wine was aged for a minimum of 18 months in approximately 85% new French oak, and then rested in the bottle for at least a year before being released. This allows the wines to “display their full beauty and potential” when they’re opened.

Drink the wine now for flavors of sour cherries, cherry, cola, cassis, touch of oak and long tannins to finish it off. In two years, the tannins will smooth out even more, says Shaw. Or you can let it mature over the next eight to 10 years.

Sip the wine on its own or pair it with truffle macaroni and cheese, braised short ribs, prime rib or bone-in filet mignon, Shaw suggests, or match it with an aged, nutty cheese like Parmesan.

These pairings work, says Shaw, because they coax the best qualities from each other. “The wine carefully caresses these dishes and brings out the best in them. The wine will either enhance the food pairing or the food pairing will bring out the beauty of the wine.”

In a glass, this wine is a head-turner. It’s “a sophisticated, elegant woman like my wife, Lisa,” says Shaw.

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