Saturday, July 16, 2011
Austin Hope "Troublemaker" (Blend 2)
It's no secret that I have a special place in my heart for the Rhone-style blends of California's Central Coast/Paso Robles region. In fact, it's probably my favorite region anywhere in the world as the wines there tend to pair very nicely with the foods that I most like to eat; namely spicy foods, grilled foods, smoked foods and BBQ. The non-vintage Austin Hope Troublemaker (Blend 2), Paso Robles is just such a wine. A blend of 73% Syrah, 12% Grenache, 8% Petite Sirah and 7% Mourvedre from no less than three different vintages (2007, 2008 and 2009), the Troublemaker has a great, deep purple color that is consistent all the way out to the rim. The nose is initially quite primary with sweet cherry and raspberry aromas and licorice. With a bit of air, it is possible to coax some smoked bacon aromas from the glass. Full and juicy on the palate with decadent fruit, espresso, worn leather, solid tannins and a very pleasant herbaceousness on the finish. I won't argue with the stated claim of 14.5% alcohol. A very nice effort that rings up for just under $20.