Now we had not tasted the "Reserve" but had tasted the Non-Reserve bottling while at a wine-makers dinner hosted by the Wine Vault Bistro here in San Diego. We loved this Bordeaux type variety so much we reasoned the "reserve" had to be so much better! It was a good bet and paid off in spades!
The first time we drank this wine, we were celebrating my wife's birthday, so we dressed to the "nines" and took our Isosceles 2005 Reserve along for the ride to one of our favorite restaurants in town, Donovans Steak & Chop House Steakhouse San Diego, CA 92101.
So we get there a bit early before the time of our reservation and with our bottle in tow, the hostess offers to hold on to it for us and will place it on the table for us. So whilst waiting, we reclined in the bar and the restaurant manager seeing our wine at the hostess station, exclaimed out loud "who brought this wonderful wine" my wife and I looked over in surprise to see her hoisting our bottle of Justin Isosceles 2005 Reserve high in the air. We acknowledge somewhat shyly that we had brought in that label as a companion for our forthcoming meal. She went on to extol her love for the Justin Isosceles and engaged us with small talk about Paso and the wonderful wine scene there, we couldn't agree more. Our trip to Justin and the Paso wine scene helped us broaden our palates and appreciation for the diverse wines coming from the area.
Upon first Swirl: In the glass the 2005 possesses a dense ruby core, followed by a pale ruby rim and the color is like dark brooding rain clouds ready to burst upon the palates with hedonistic delight.
Upon first Sniff: Our wine was decanted for us (about an 1/2 hour) and even our waiter who is in general opposed to California's fruit-forward styles, found praise for the Isosceles. In the nose it exhibits ripe aromas of blackberry and currant with some hints of toasted oak melding nicely in the background, in a word stunning!
Upon first Sip: This wine displayed what I would call a full-throttled personality displaying abundant amounts of of blackberry and smaller notes of cassis flavors delicately balanced and fully intermixed with subtle notes of vanillin and expresso leading to a long and sumptuous finish
Weighing in: 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
1% Malbec blended and aged together in 100% New Nevers French Oak for 26 months and Alc. of 15.5.
My Recommendation: This is a brilliant wine and I would acquire a few bottles for special occasions or for those with a fat-wallet I would recommend a few cases. Compared to some of this wines counterparts in Bordeaux the price is very reasonable for a wine of this caliber. Ranging in price from over a hundred to $75.00 dollars per it is a good deal! If you do buy yourself a few open one now and see what all the fuss is about, then cellar the rest for a 3-5 years for even more intense flavors to develop.
Wine Makers Notes: Inky black in color with a slightly purple rim, this wine shows its youth and power. Aromas of black cherry, red currant and leather combine with mushroom, minerality and a complex assortment of spices from the new French oak. The soft entry is layered with red and black fruit, while the mid palate seamlessly flows into a round, rich mouth feel characteristic of a warm, consistent vintage. The finish exhibits rich, soft, yet complex flavors resulting from the extended ageing (26 months) in new French oak
Other voices: February 2007 On the Cover, by Chris Rubin, Interview with Jaime Pressly, Actress, “My Name is Earl”: “’JUSTIN ISOSCELES changed my whole perception of wine’, she says.”
Bright Future: The 2006 will be leaving the Justin wine cave in November of this year, so this is your chance to jump on the Justin Band Wagon. By the way the 2006 Reserve Cabernet got 95 points from Wine Enthusiast.