A winery that produces some absolutely gorgeous, deep wines in Paso Robles, Epoch Wines is one to watch. The wines not only exude richness, they show some marvelous terroir. All Epoch fruit comes from estate vineyards, which are two specific and unique sites that they purchased and planted -- the Paderewski Vineyard and the Catapult Vineyard. Owners Bill and Liz Armstrong are both Geologists who saw the great potential for these vineyards. The Paderewski Vineyard is a 67 acres plot that is comprised of steep, limestone rich hillsides within 350 rural, spring-fed acres. In the early 1900’s, this vineyard was farmed by world-renowned pianist, polish diplomat, and vintner, Ignacy Jan Paderewski. This vineyard was dormant for many years until Epoch purchased the land in 2004. The vineyard was planted to Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Grenache Blanc, and Picpoul Blanc which were mostly grafted onto Phylloxera resistant Native American rootstock. Near the middle of the Paso Robles’ Templeton Gap, near the famed L’Aventure and Booker Vineyards, lies the Catapult Vineyard. The 45 acre plot of land was purchased in 2008 as they saw some very rocky soils with silicious shale and little limestone content as a nice contrast to their Pederewski vineyard. At the vineyard they encourage the vines to struggle while finding nourishment deep within the ground.
The wines all come from the stellar 2012 vintage which was marked by high heat but nearly ideal growing conditions. One of the best wines that I have tried this year is the 2012 Epoch ‘Authenticity’ Red Wine (WWB, 96). This is a dense, deep and intense wine that showcases the richness of the vintage and has a silky mouthfeel. Also highly impressive was the 2012 Epoch ‘Block B’ Syrah (WWB, 95) which also is one of the best Syrahs in North America that I have sampled in the past year. This absolute heavyhitter of a wine is for those who enjoy the darker side of Syrah, as this extracted beauty will continue to sing into the next decade. Learn more about Epoch wines at http://www.epochwines.com/ Here are the fantastic new release wines from Epoch.
2012 Epoch Authenticity-The 2012 'Authenticity' is an incredible blend of 71% Syrah, 28% Mouvedre and 1% Viognier that was aged for 18 months in 51% new French oak barrels prior to bottling. This majestic, towering red opens with intense aromatics of star jasmine, anise, crème de cassis, and Turkish coffee which explode from the glass. This is full-bodied, layered and the texture is absolutely gorgeous, bordering ethereal, as it continues to deliver intense flavors of milk chocolate, crème de cassis, roasted figs, and tar which resonate through the wine. Despite its profound weight, this has a wonderful sense of freshness and seamless quality leading into the long multi-tiered finish. Overall, this 2012 is a fabulous effort from winemaker Jordan Fiorentini. Drink 2016-2030- 96
2012 Epoch 'Paderewski Vineyard Block B' Syrah- Epoch has crafted a heavyhitter of a Syrah here with their Paderewski Vineyard 'Block B' Syrah. Utilizing clone 174, the wine was aged 18 months in 44% new French oak barrels prior to bottling. This dense wine opens with aromatics of milk chocolate, crème de cassis, allspice, white pepper all taking shape around boysenberry jam. On the palate this full-bodied and multi-layered, offering deep, concentrated flavors of wild blackberry preserves, black cherry compote, roasted figs, creosote, anise and mocha. While this intense Syrah is not for the weary, it delivers an gorgeous velvety texture and opulent mouthfeel, which is absolutely impossible to resist. This is a decadent treat, needing at least a two hour decant for it to show its best. Drink 2016-2028- 95
2012 Epoch Tempranillo- The 2012 Tempranillo by Epoch is one who enjoys the intense side of the varietal. The wine is a blend of 94% Tempranillo with the rest Grenache. Sourced from the Paderewski Vineyard, the wine begins with aromas of roasted prune, coffee grounds and black cherry with suggestions of boysenberry preserves. There are dense flavors of black cherry, black olive, blackberry pie and Turkish coffee. This is an exotic wine that needs a two hour decant prior to enjoying. Drink 2016-2026- 93
2012 Epoch Ingenuity-The wine is gorgeous a blend of 58% Syrah, 18% Mourvèdre, 14% Grenache, and 10% Petite Sirah that was aged for 18 months in 40% new French oak prior to bottling. 80% of this red wine was sourced from the Paderewski vineyard, while 20% was sourced from the Catapult vineyard. This red blend begins with aromatics reminiscent of pipe tobacco, anise, black olive, black cherry and black raspberry. There are rich flavors of milk chocolate, creme de cassis, anise and Turkish coffee. Intense, dense and layered, this will have a very long life. Give this at least two hours in the decanter to unwind before trying. Drink 2016-2030- 94