Fairly dark staining ruby with still-bright purple edges. Extremely concentrated burnt rubber-band nose on intense spice and a middling of really creamy oak. Initially, this does not smell like your typical Paso cab. With a little air, it becomes much more identifiable as the forward notes air out to something considerably flabbier but with healthy briar and tobacco and gobs of amaretto fruit, licorice and spearmint but with a troubling plasticine/steely edge.
This winery is on the East side and the label indicates ‘Estate’, making it even more interesting. It IS in either the El Pomar or Templeton Gap Districts, and if you are going to make wine on the East side of Paso, it BEST be in one of these two. The new district-dividing is so new, I have not really become fluent in their boundaries. Honestly don’t care. Sure, it might help with shopping, but the bottom line is in the bottle–not the label.
Relatively thin and sweet on entry, I say so because the bouquet is so overwhelming, the taste surprises a little. Still, I would rather it be like this than the other-way-around. It crescendos across the tongue nicely and everything promised in the nose has developed by mid-palate. Rich and smartly fruited, with the initial acidic thinness morphing to ample, very dark tannin. No overt heat or AL. An interesting wine, definitely and I am pleasantly surprised. Fairly well balanced, if awkward in a few places. It is just coming into its own–tasting it a couple years ago would have been *interesting*, but I think the winery is wise to have it as their current release at 5yo. This thing has another 10 on it EASY and highly recommended.
2010 STILLWATERS Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles 14.3