About Cinquain Cellars
2006 marks the first vintage of Cinquain Cellars, one of the newest wineries in the Paso Robles appellation. Â Cinquain Cellars is focused on estate grown reds, including Bordeaux, RhÃ´ne, and Port varieties, as well as, sourcing fruit from select vineyards for white varieties. Â It is run by David and Beth Nagengast, with David tending to the vineyard and winemaking while Beth manages the sales and marketing. Â
About the Vineyard
The 14-acre Nagengast Estate Vineyard overlooks Hog Canyon and the Estrella River basin and was planted in 2002 with nine varieties. Â These include the traditional Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Â Also, planted are two clones of Syrah, clones 174 and 877, which produce a RhÃ´ne style wine. Â Lastly, there are three classic Port varieties, Tinta Cao, Touriga Nacional, and Touriga Franca.Â
About the Wines
All of the red wines are destemmed without crushing, fermented in small lots of 1.5 tons, punched down by hand three times a day, and left on the skins for an average of three weeks. Â This delicate maceration slowly extracts the color and flavor of the grape, without over extraction of harsh phenolic compounds. The fermented grapes are then gently pressed in a small wooden basket press to draw off only the finest of the fermented juice. Â This juice is then put into a selected mixture of 225 liter to 500 liter, French, American and Hungarian oak barrels. Â The wines are left to mature for at least 16 months for appropriate aging. Â They are racked prior to bottling, and bottled without any fining or filtration.
The flagship wine is the Reserve Meritage, which inspired the name Cinquain Cellars. Because this wine is a beautiful blend of five Bordeaux varieties, it was referred to as pure poetry, a cinquain in a bottle, and so it goes. It is made from 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Malbec, 17% Petit Verdot, 15% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Franc. Â The 2006 Reserve Meritage was awarded 94 points, a Gold Medal and a Best of Class designation at the 2008 California State Fair, and Laurie Daniel has this to say about it, "This blend of five grapes (mostly cabernet and malbec) is robust yet easy to drink now because of its balance. Â Juicy black cherry flavors are accented by a note of anise and firm structure."
Other 100% estate-grown reds include a varietal Merlot, a varietal Syrah, along with a Cabernet-Syrah blend, and a Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blend with Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc, called Independence Red, which was recently awarded BEST OF CLASS for Bordeaux Blends in the $20 to $29 price range at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, held in January, 2011.
The 2006 Syrah was awarded a Gold Medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, and Robert Parker has this to say about it, "This delicious, sexy Syrah possesses a deep plum/ruby color as well as copious quantities of sweet black cherry and black currant fruit, smoke, earth, and a gamy meatiness. Enjoy this lush 2006 over the next 2-3 years."
The dessert wine is harvested late in the season, fermented slowly and fortified to 19% alcohol to arrest the fermentation at approximately 8% residual sugar. Â The wine is stored in neutral oak barrels and bottled after 12 months. Â This produces a rich, dark red, concentrated, fruit forward wine that finishes any meal with an unforgettable treat.Â
To complement the reds, Chardonnay was sourced from Riverview Vineyard located below the Pinnacles in Monterey County, along with a Sauvignon Blanc from Baja Viento Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco sub-appellation of Monterey. The Â 2007 Chardonnay was awarded a Double Gold Medal at the 2008 Central Coast Wine Competition at the California Mid-State Fair.
About the Dream
The owner and winemaker, David Nagengast, graduated from the Fresno State University Enology program in 1985 with the dream of someday having his own vineyard and winery. Â
In 2000, the search for the perfect site culminated in the purchase of a small hillside property, overlooking Hog Canyon and the Estrella River basin from 1000-ft elevation, in the Northeast area of the Paso Robles Appellation.
In 2002, the 14-acre vineyard was planted with 10,000 vines including nine different Bordeaux, RhÃ´ne, and Port varieties.Â
In 2007, the construction of their simple 1200 square-foot winery Â was completed.
And now, after 25 years of making wines professionally for a variety of small and medium sized wineries in Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Clara County, and Oregon, the culmination of this dream is evident with the establishment of Nagengast Estate Vineyard, Cinquain Cellars and the availability of 1500 cases of the debut releases.
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