2015 Denner 'Ditch Digger' Red Blend
Paso Robles, California
If there was a Grand Cru classification of Paso wines, Denner would be on that list! The estate is comprised of 156 acres pressed up against the Santa Lucia Range, giving the site great diversity of elevation, aspect and soil. It is nestled into the Templeton Gap, neighboring the infamous James Berry Vineyard of Sarum fame. Denner Vineyards currently uses 45 of the total 108 planted acres for their estate wine program. The remaining grapes are sold to ultra-premium producers in Paso Robles. Much of their fruit graces the wines of Villa Creek Cellars, Linne Calodo, and Justin Vineyards among others. Denner’s winemaking program is headed by Anthony Yount, a graduate of California Polytechnical University. He is amazingly talented and we are big fans of his wines. The 2015 Ditch Digger is a blend of 55% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 5% Counoise, 5% Cinsaut and 5% Tannat. The grapes were fermented using a 7 day cold soak with twice daily pump-overs followed by a 10 day native fermentation with a mix of delestage and pump-overs for cap management. 31% whole clusters were used. 100% Estate, Willow Creek District Paso Robles, CA. The resulting wine shows off flavors of grilled fruits, anise and five spice that evolve into a seamlessly smooth mid-palate. These flavors are carried into an impressive finish with juicy acidity and fine tannins. This wine will reward those willing to wait a few years, but it's hard to resist right now.
95 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. "A Grenache-based blend, the 2015 Ditch Digger is lovely, wafting from the glass with an expressive nose of dried flowers, wild berry fruit and orange rind. On the palate, it's full-bodied, ample and succulent, with a generous core of fruit, decent freshness and fine-grained tannins that make their presence felt on the finish. Given it a year or two in the cellar and then follow it for 6 or 7 more. Drink through 2026."
94 points, Antonio Galloni's Vinous. "Inky ruby. Highly fragrant aromas of fresh red and blue fruits, spicecake and candied rose, joined in the glass by a building smoky element. Silky and seamless in texture, offering impressively concentrated and surprisingly lively black raspberry and boysenberry flavors that are given spine by a core of juicy acidity. Closes sweet, gently tannic and very long, featuring emphatic red fruit and lingering floral pastille notes. Drink through 2028."