Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Epoch Veracity 2016, Paso Robles

With the rain coming down and the temperatures cooling, I decided to open a beautiful bottle of red wine for dinner this week. And in honor of Women’s History Month, I picked a wine made by a woman. Elegant with structure, the Epoch Veracity 2016 from Paso Robles is the Please the Palate Wine of the Week.

After falling in love with wines from the Southern Rhone, geologists Bill and Liz Armstrong came to Paso Robles in 2004 and purchased the historic Paderewski Vineyard. Paderewski was a pianist, an American and Polish patriot, a poet, a generous philanthropist, a Polish citizen, and a politician. He came to Paso Robles in 1913 seeking the healing effects of its hot sulfur-rich mineral baths for his rheumatism. Paderewski purchased over 2,000 acres on the west side of Paso Robles and established Rancho San Ignacio where he planted Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. The Armstrongs then purchased the Catapult Vineyard in 2008 and then in 2010, they added the historic York Mountain Winery. It was the same York Mountain Winery that Paderewski would take his grapes each year to be crafted into award-winning wines. Between the three vineyards, there are 144 acres planted to Rhone varieties, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo.

Winemaker Jordan Fiorentini works exclusively with estate fruit and takes a non-invasion approach to farming. I met Jordan a few months ago when I went to Paso Robles to interview her for my podcast Wine Soundtrack. Jordan received her engineering undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and a masters degree in viticulture from UC Davis. Her first job in wine was working at her family’s winery in Georgia before she worked at Araujo Estate in Napa Valley, Antinori Winery in Italy, and at Chalk Hill in Sonoma. Jordan joined Epoch in 2010 as Vice President of Winemaking & Vineyards. I was immediately drawn into her warmth and energy and I especially loved the way she expresses how her wines taste. In addition to writing tasting notes, she draws them.

The Epoch 2016 Veracity is a GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) blend, however the Mourvedre takes center stage. The blend is 51% Mourvèdre, 36% Grenache, and 13% Syrah with 78% of the fruit from the Paderewski Vineyard and 22% of the fruit from the Catapult Vineyards. The wine was fermented in a combination of concrete, oak, and stainless steel and then aged for 17 months, 28% in concrete tulip and the balance in French oak barrels and puncheons (32% new).

A deep dark opaque red color with purple highlights, the wine has a rich and lively nose filled with notes of red raspberries, rhubarb, lavender, and herbs. On the palate, the lightly drying tannins meld beautifully with the energetic acidity resulting in a lovely textured medium-bodied wine. Elegant and structured, I enjoyed this wine with grilled salmon and roasted vegetables.

There were 851 cases produced of the Epoch Veracity 2016 which retails for $70.