The first time I tasted Justin Cabernet Sauvignon I was blown away at the quality for the price. The basic Cab runs between $20 and $25 a bottle, a steal for the quality. It quickly became a bottle I picked up everytime I saw it at Costco and I often choose to open at my parent’s house when visiting. Located in Paso Robles, the Justin Winery has been making wine since they planted their first vineyard in 1981. Making the wine in Paso, rather than Napa has kept the costs lower for Justin, at least for the time being.
Justin Baldwin started Justin winery with the goal of producing Bordeaux style wine at a lower price point. As he put it, he couldn’t afford his high end taste and love of Bordeaux wine. When the winery was founded there were less than 10 wineries in Paso Robles. Throughout the last 30+ years that number had grown past 300 wineries. The Justin winery however, continues to be iconic. It transformed the view point of that the land of Paso was mainly for Rhone style blends and Zinfandel and made way for stellar Cabernet Sauvignon. Justin winery uses old world methods with new world technology.
Fred Holloway (joined in 2003) and Scott Shirley (joined in 2012) joined the winery in the last 20 years and have worked to continue and improve the amazing wine making started in 1981. When Scott Shirley joined Justin in 2012 he has already been making wine in Napa for 13 years. He has worked at Opus One and Hess Collection before Justin. He enjoys making wines that are mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, but then smoothing them out in varying ways from the aging process to other varietals.
The Justin Cabernet Sauvignon is smooth and complex. The grapes are hand picked to ensure the best quality. The wine is aged for 14 months in American Oak giving it a hint of vanilla and spice. It is bold, but not overwhelming. The wine has a nice black cherry type of jamminess with smooth tannins. Justin Cabernet Sauvignon is sure to go with a variety of meals from pizza to burgers, try this bottle next time you are looking for a beautiful quality Cab.
Other Justin bottles to be sure to check out include Isosceles, Justification, Port, Reserve Malbec, and the Rose.