Red Blend • Huehuerro Vineyard
California: Paso Robles
What we say
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Mission Codename: A wine all its own
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Revisit Teri Love, owner and winemistress extraordinaire at Gioia Winery, procure her unique Paso Red Blend, the delicious 2008 Tiggy
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Gioia Winery
Wine Subject: 2008 Tiggy – Paso Robles
Winemaker: Teri Love
Paso Robles, in California’s Southern Central Coast region (San Luis Obisbo County) is one of California’s oldest and fastest-evolving wine growing regions. The first vines were planted in the late 1700s by the Spanish missionaries. Paso’s unique climate, perhaps influences its vine more than any other area in California. The hot, dry weather that is only minimally effected by coastal fog and wine results in grapes that are more concentrated in flavor and intensity. This climate makes Paso uniquely suited to grow the big red varietals.
With about 200 acres of Tannat planted in California it is among one of the least harvested grape varietals in the state. Originally planted in the Basque region of Northeast Spain and Southwest France and made famous for the bold red wines of Madiran AOC (at least 40% Tannat) by expert winemakers like Alain Brumont (Chateau Montus), Tannat makes its name as big, rich, chewy and tannic wines. Pure varietal wines from Tannat are deep and dark in color, with firm tannins and exceptional cellar potential.
Grenache, most famous in France’s southern Rhone is the primary grape of Chateauneuf-du-Pape (CDP). That being said, most CDPs are an encépagement (blend) of many grapes including Syrah, Mourvedre and up to 10 other grapes. Occasionally, when a particular fruit is so good, you’ll find a 100% varietal CDP. Perhaps the most famous of these 100% CDPs is Chateau Rayas (also known for exceptional white CDPs).
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark ruby hues with just a hint of Burgundy at the deeper core of the wine. On swirling, the wine shows a tight surface that settles quickly, leaving behind some of the fattest legs we have seen on a red wine.
Smell – Shy on the nose at first, but after some swirling unique aromas of fleshy plum, dried black fig, cassis and subtle cherry emerge. These sit right atop dried apricot, toasted oak, fresh mixed herbs, black tea, subtle raspberry and crushed violets.
Feel – Cool and light on entry. Then, very gradually, a mineral-rich dryness spreads from the tip of the tongue to the back of the palate. Eventually, this dryness spreads to the lips and cheeks.
Taste – Bold with ripe black and red fruit that engage the palate immediately, with plum, spicy overripe blackberry, Bing cherry and raspberry. These overlay exotic flavors of China black tea, toasted sweetwoods, mineral black pepper, lush earth and mixed dark flower petals.
Finish – Very long and rich, with layers of flavor that tail off very gradually. As the fruit dwindles, exotic black tea emerges. The China tea is soon replaced by crushed dried herbs and flower petals. These are, in turn, replaced by a sharp mineral laden black pepper that produces a lovely zing at the back of the mouth.
Conclusion – The 2008 Gioia Winery Tiggy is a unique gem of a wine. It is also unlike any wine that we have ever tasted. When I learned that the wine was blended with Tannat, I was excited – bus also skeptical. Tannat can be a very difficult wine to understand. A Basque region (of Spain and France) varietal, Tannat is usually best served with rich game, such as duck. This wine though, with its Grenache component, is a wine that is a perfect food-pairing partner, or – if you are interested in something very original and unique, a really exciting solo sipper. Rich, flavorful and delicious, the wine has a surprisingly shy nose. On first sip, it almost seems as though you have tasted a different wine than the one you just smelled. Pair this exciting wine with rich and complex foods, but also try the wine all on its own. You’ll be delighted.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Teri Love
WINE EDUCATION: Real-life experience – tasting wines all over the world; Apprenticing under Jim Porter of KLJ Cellars.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: The fruit speaks for itself.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “In wine there is truth”, Latin proverb
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: September 2009
AGENT RED: Greetings, Teri. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County, today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
TERI: Happy to be in this position.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
TERI: Wine makes the most wonderful occasion even better.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
TERI: Jim Porter – his palate and talent are enviable.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
TERI: Myself – if I am loving the taste chances are good that others will as well
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
TERI: I have been waiting for the perfect blend to name after my son Tyler. When he was a newborn, my daughter Kelli nicknamed him Tiggy because she said he sounded like a baby Tiger when he cried. It wasn’t really a cry, just a low purring/growl. It is pronounced “Tie-gy”
The wine named after him, had to be something really special. We believe this wine deserves that honor. It is beautiful in the glass, with a light ruby color, smooth and satisfying in texture & totally delicious.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
TERI: Thanksgiving is nearly upon us. Tiggy will be amazing paired with a juicy turkey, cranberry sauce & all the great flavors that Thanksgiving is known for. Tiggy has the tastes of gingerbread, black currant, honey, raspberry, hints of coffee & roasted nuts…..causing a perfect celebratory explosion of joy on the palate, making Thanksgiving dinner the most delightful of pairings.
RED: In your opinion, what makes Paso Robles region so special?
TERI: Paso Robles is the optimum area that is well suited to the Grenache grape. The vine is characterized by it’s strong canopy & upright growth. It has good wind tolerance & thrives in dry warm weather. The vine, buds early & requires a long growing season to fully ripen. Paso Robles is ideal for this grape. The longer growing season allows the sugars in the grape to reach high levels. The grapes for Tiggy were picked at the time the grapes were practically bursting with juicy ripeness. The Grenache grape adds body & sweet fruitiness to blended wines such as Tiggy.
We blended the Grenache with Tannat. It is high in polyphenols – the good chemicals in wine that keep the heart healthy.
Tannat varietals are highly recommended by researcher Roger Corder who has written “The Red Wine Diet.”
The best part of Tiggy – not only does it taste phenomenal, it is good for you too!
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
TERI: We are concentrating getting the word out about our 3 luscious new wines.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
TERI: With an open mind and an empty glass
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
TERI: Enjoy and share the Gioia!
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
What the winery says
About This Wine:
If you liked our Zinfandel, you will love Tiggy. The grapes used in the making of this blend, come from the same vineyard (Huehuerro Vineyard on the east side of Paso Robles) as the Zin.
The blend consists of Grenache which has flavors of black currant, black cherries, gingerbread, honey, raspberries, hint of black pepper…
The other varietal is Tanat. It is high in polyphenols, which are the good chemicals in wine that keep the heart healthy. Tannat varietals are highly recommended by researcher Roger Corder who has written “The Red Wine Diet.” Tannat is believed to be very good for promoting health & longevity.
So Tiggy, is not only delicious, it is good for you too!
About The Winery:
GIOIA Italian for JOY
The inspiration for GIOIA was born from the joy my son Tyler brings to my life.
He studied abroad for a year in Florence, Italy, cherishing every second of his time there. Making the most of learning the language, traveling extensively…getting into the spirit of Italy.
GIOIA is in honor and memory of his strength, his loyalty, how fiercely he loved life, his family, his friends, animals and his ability to embrace each day with open arms.
Ty showed me by example, to enjoy a great glass of wine while appreciating a gorgeous view in a tropical locale, snow covered mountains, pounding surf, or just chillin at home.
Every moment was an occasion to be celebrated, whether traveling, racing down a ski slope, hiking with our dogs, scoring a perfect ace in tennis, smacking a golf ball, dunking a basketball, riding his bicycle for hours, working out at the gym, dining at his favorite Italian restaurants, shopping for the coolest clothes and Italian shoes, hanging with his friends, enjoying and appreciating his girlfriend….all the while, laughing at himself, never taking life too seriously.
To say he was a joy to be around is a supreme understatement.
Tyler was taken from this world, along with one of his closest childhood friends (Keith Naylor) at the age of 22 on November 12th, 2005.
He was doing another of his favorite pastimes, driving his Ducati. Keith was on the back of the bike that night. They were going to visit friends.
A motorist pulled out from a parked position on the side of the road, in front of them, with no warning. He made an illegal U-Turn across two sets of double yellow lines on the Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, California. This act ended the lives of these beautiful, dynamic, vital, amazing young men.
My reason for sharing this tragedy, is to reach out to others. I implore everyone to welcome joy into your lives. Take nothing for granted.
Please honor and appreciate all of your relationships. Open your hearts and arms to all of your loved ones. Enjoy what life has to offer.
Share the GIOIA
LUMU (Tyler’s signature sign off) “Love U Miss U”
Tyler’s Mama – Teri Love
Varietals: Zinfandel, Grenache, Tannat