2018 Justin Isosceles
Justin Winery is one of the unique premium wineries situated in the western hillside, some 16 miles outside the town of Paso Robles. A composite of 160 acres of rugged rolling hill vineyard with sub-soils of fossilized limestone and marine deposits. The property is nearly ten miles inland from the Pacific Ocean at elevations of 1100 to 1800 feet. Justin Baldwin, an international investment banker with Midwestern agricultural roots, along with his wife Deborah purchased this "raw land" in the Adelaida district of Paso Robles in 1981. With a passion for crafting Bordeaux-style blends, Justin planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. He likened his wines to the quality of fruit grown on the right and left bank regions of Bordeaux. Winemaking for the last 13 vintages has been under the guidance of winemaker Scott Shirley who continues to transform this winery into an iconic brand.
The Isosceles label has been in existence for 30 years. I have tasted over a decade of great Isosceles and the 2018 vintage is one of the most well-crafted and at the top of my list. This wine is a composite of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc aged for 21 months in 100% new French Oak barrels. The 2018 Isoceles comes across as a charismatic wine with a mixture of red and blue fruits. The deep ruby-opaque hue showcases aromas of freshly cut flowers and rose petals. Beneath the lovely textural quality of this wine are highlights black raspberry coulis, freshly picked cherries, toffee and dark chocolate shavings. There is a sexy quality to this wine that beckons you for another sip. It remains long and persistent on the palate. It is hard to imagine this wine improving when it is so enjoyable right now.
By W Peter Hoyne