A new blend, the 2013 Milk & Honey checks in as 35% Tempranillo, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 6% Mourvedre and a splash of Grenache, all of which saw 16 months in 70% new French oak. It's another sensational blockbuster from Russell that offers lots of black raspberry and cassis fruit to go with notes of vanilla, cedar, Asian spice and dry-aged beef. Full-bodied, rich, structured and downright tannic, I like its mid-palate and concentration level, but it needs a year in the bottle to let the tannin mellow. (JD)
Opaque ruby. Deeply pitched aromas of dark berry liqueur, licorice, violet and peppery spices. A mineral nuance adds vibrancy and lift to the plush blackberry and cassis flavors, with spice and smoke elements emerging with air. Surprisingly lively for its heft, finishing on a bitter chocolate note, with strong thrust and slow-building tannins. This big boy weighs in at 15.9% alcohol. Owner/winemaker Russell From produces a wide range of rich and usually flamboyant wines at his stripped-down winery in downtown Paso Robles, hard by the railroad tracks. His wines have quickly become among the most sought after bottlings from the region and, like his colleagues who are also high up in the Paso Robles pecking order, his waiting list is growing steadily. From and his wife, Vailia Esh (Desparada), welcomed a new child into the world the night before I visited on June 13 so I tasted through this new set of releases with From’s assistant winemaker, Giovanni Grandinetti.
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