Slow Press' 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. Paso Robles

Slow Press' 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. Paso Robles

An adventurous personality is a terrible thing to waste. So I don’t…most of the time. I’m always on the hunt for something unusual, something new and different. However, at the end of a busy day, with moussaka on the menu (a somewhat complicated dish that I will blog about soon), I found myself searching for simple and familiar. Sometimes, you just need a good California cabernet.

My husband took a wine class some years ago and oft repeats an anecdote about the instructor telling the class there’s nothing wrong with selecting a wine because you like the label. “If you like ducks, then pick a wine with ducks on the label…” I’ll add that it’s okay so long as the wine is relatively inexpensive, but I’m a low-risk wino. As well, I’m a believer in good design that tells a story. I am quickly turned off by poor website and food menu design. If little to no effort was put into the first impression, what should I expect in terms of quality in the product or food I’m about to purchase? Thus, while perusing California cabernets the other day, I was drawn to a label of faux copper, and sold when I connected the winery’s name to its tagline. Slow Press: Never Rush A Great Wine. Good branding is never wasted on me. Into my cart went the 2012 Slow Press Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles.

Once I got it home, I read further and learned that Slow Press “cold soaks” its grapes prior to fermentation. This is a means of extracting color and flavor from the grape skins, without introducing the harshness of tannins. The wine is then slow fermented and aged in oak for 12 months.

As I mentioned earlier, I purchased this to accompany moussaka, which is a Greek lasagna-like dish made with lamb and tomato meat sauce, béchamel, and layers of sliced eggplant and potato. It’s a hearty dish. Per my usual, I enjoyed a glass of wine while cooking, and then another glass when things got complicated.

When paired with a tomato-based, meaty, hearty dish, I don’t mind a very tannin-full wine. However, when sipping the wine on its own, I don’t always want it to knock me down. The Slow Press is sort of a chameleon in this regard. It definitely held up to the dish, but it was also incredibly smooth, drinkable and enjoyable all by itself.

On the nose, cola and dark berries, maybe a little raspberry. Can I say it smells sultry? But not a devious kind of sultry. The aroma is certainly spicy, but also has a sweetness to it that is very enticing.

On the palate this wine is so smooth and just…friendly. I taste notes of cherry and nutmeg and it has an “approachable spice”. It is medium bodied, juicy and full of flavor with just a little tannin up front and a long finish. The tannins definitely become more pronounced the longer the bottle is open. I’ll credit the chameleon quality to this. But, how nice, to find a great-tasting wine that follows a cook’s timeline and taste preferences. Well done, Slow Press.