The Dueling Pistols Paso Robles Red 2016 is a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah sourced from a single vineyard near the Templeton Gap and on the westside of Paso Robles city. The vineyard has the classic vineyard climate, warm days, cool nights, morning fog, and low rainfall.This is not the usual CheapWineFinder value-priced wine; it sells for somewhere between $40 and $50; it is a splurge wine. We are going outside our usual comfort zone because sometimes spending a little more fits the occasion.Easter is a few days away, and this may be the first time in a year that family and friends can join together. Older folks have their Covid shot or both. Younger Americans are not far from their turn at the vaccine. Maybe this holiday calls for something out of the ordinary.The Dueling Pistols Paso Robles Red 2016 is one of Terlato Wines' family of brands. You may not be familiar with the wine company, but are the ones that brought Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio to the U.S., nobody knew what Pinot Grigio was. Today it is one of the staple White wines.The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah is unusual, and this blend should come from Paso Robles. Their reputation is that Paso is a place that does not conform to the old rules; the winemakers do things the way they see fit.The Dueling Pistols Paso Robles Red 2016 is a boutique wine and a brand wine from a large wine company. A single-vineyard wine that is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. 30% of the barrels are new oak, with the rest used 2 or 3 times. Getting the right amount of oak aging and influence in wine is basically a math problem.X amount of new oak barrels for Y amount a time, when used along with Z amount of used barrels, equals a specified amount of oak influence. These wines are intended to be drinkable upon release; no extra aging is needed, so getting the oak right is immensely important.Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon has an excellent and growing reputation. Petite Sirah is the secret ingredient used in countless California Red blends. The Dueling Pistols Paso Robles Red 2016 marriage of these two grapes should be an interesting match.The Dueling Pistols Paso Robles Red 2016 is made to be a bold but balanced wine. The alcohol content of 14% is almost restrained for modern California red blends.Dueling Pistols Paso Robles Red 2016 Tasting NotesThe color is a mix of black cherry, and purple. The nose is large I was getting scents from a foot away; there are ripe black and blueberry, sour cherry, spice, toasted vanilla, BBQ in the grill, and light herbs. Every time I go in for another whiff, another aroma reveals itself.The Dueling Pistols Paso Robles Red 2016 is a juicy, well-structured wine with layers of flavors. It tastes blackberry and brown sugar (not sweet), blueberry and licorice, spice, a jolt of black pepper, and tart cherry.The mid-palate adds chewy tannins, raspberry, a rough splash of orange zest, a faint mix of chocolate. The Dueling Pistols Paso Robles Red 2016 has a silky smooth mouth-feel but with loads of flavor occurring along the way. The acidity is balanced; it provides enough structure for the flavors to unfold while setting your palate up for the next sip.The SummaryThe Dueling Pistols Paso Robles Red 2016 is an excellent modern California Red blend.It does remind me of a wine such as The Prisoner, but not as extracted and ripe. The focus is on silkiness and depth.If you are looking for a “splurge” wine and you are a fan of interesting, well-made California Red blends, then this is a wine to consider.
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