Bishop’s Peak Wines are handcrafted by Talley Vineyards to capture the unique diversity of the greater Central Coast region.
This proprietary red wine blend incorporates the classic Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec in a proportion that varies depending on the vintage. The goal is to capture the best possible expression of the distinctive Santa Margarita Vineyard site where the grapes are grown.
The nose offers aromas of black licorice, white pepper, blackberries, wet clay and eucalyptus followed by flavor profiles of boysenberry, concrete, tart blueberry and white pepper and a finish with long, drying tannins.
Varietal: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 22% Petit Verdot
Appellation: Paso Robles
Vineyard Designation: Santa Margarita Ranch
Harvest Date: October 18 - October 26, 2017
Aging: 30 months in 40% new French and American oak barrels
Since 1986, the Talley family has been growing and making wines on California’s San Luis Obispo Coast. Classic in character yet lively in spirit, we craft wines that are true expressions of our vineyards and the beautiful vineyards that surround us. With their varied microclimates and soils, the vineyards that surround us harness the exact conditions for which the San Luis Obispo Coast winegrowing region is renowned.
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Alice emailed yesterday afternoon to see if I could be a last minute lab rat. UPS delivered this on time for a change, and after letting it sit for an hour while I assembled lunches for the children it’s time to pop and make a first report.
I’m usually sceptical of Paso Robles wines because I tend to prefer wines lower in alcohol, but weighing in at 13.8% I don’t have that worry this time around.
Colour is what I’d expect from a young blend of this sort: bright limpid red-purple. The shipping doesn’t seem to have stirred up any sediment, suggesting there is none at this age.
Aromas are fairly subdued thus far. I mostly get hints of vanilla from the oak. A touch of mint and even alcohol heat when swirling (Clark’s “sweet spot” theory at work?). Not a whole lot more to report at this time. Clearly this wine needs air.
Flavours are primarily red fruit and plum. The vanilla comes in again as well, but doesn’t come across as oaky in any way. Acidity is in my wheelhouse, keeping everything bright and fresh, and keeping my mouth watering.
The finish is surprisingly long (30+ seconds) and complex. Vanilla, herbs, earth, and a couple other things I can’t quite place keep morphing into each other.
I’ll keep visiting this glass over the next few hours and the rest is getting a slow-ox on the counter.
Next update. This wine either isn’t going to change much or it has a lot of oxygen capacity! The oak continues to show as a major note (more so than before) in the glass that was poured 4.5 hours ago.
Just finished that glass and poured a bit from the bottle that’s been slow-oxing on the counter. This one seems more spice-driven at first, and even seem to have a touch more energy and acidity. The vanilla is still in the driver’s seat, thoguh.
@klezman Thanks for the detailed follow-up descriptions. I think this may the first time I heard reticent used as a wine descriptor. Yet in the context it actually is very descriptive and helps me understand your tasting experience.
So I ended up corking the bottle overnight and through the morning. The kids really needed to run around for a while!
Just got back from lunch and reopened the bottle. At least direct from the pour I’m getting more of the fruit promised via the “official” notes from the winery.
After a couple minutes of swirling, I’m still getting a lot of berry aromas - mostly black raspberry. Palate has a bit more fruit as well, although the vanilla is still fairly prominent on the back end and finish. Zero signs of oxidation.
I’ll keep checking in on this over the rest of the day and the next couple until the bottle is gone. It seems like a well made wine that’s intended to age and improve for a few years. It’s fairly restrained, especially from Paso Robles, and is nowhere near the style of big juicy red. My big question is whether the oak will integrate and let the rest of the wine shine. I can tell the other parts are there, but they just aren’t coming out in their full glory yet. And since I’ve got the time to just pour a glass a day to evaluate it, I’ll continue to do so.
Yesterday (Monday) this was showing a touch more fruit and had smoothed out considerably. The tannins are no longer prominent at all.
Today this is even more integrated and fruit-forward. The oak finally seems like it’s no longer prominent either. I’d say it’s finally hitting its stride, somehow, after being open 72 hours.
I’m having a lot of fun tasting it this way, too, just a small pour each day to see what happens. Now I’m thinking those who bought this will be significantly rewarded with about 2 years worth of patience.
And today the vanilla is a bit more pronounced, especially on the finish, and there’s the slightest hint of oxidation. But overall this is improving still. Further evidence that this is more structured than at first glance.