Review: Wines of Justin, 2021 Releases

Review: Wines of Justin, 2021 Releases

We’ve long been fans of Paso Robles’ Justin Winery, so naturally we jumped at the chance to join a wine and chocolate truffle tasting the winery recently organized. Three of its most popular wines were tasted along with five different truffles, which are made on site and are sold and served at the winery’s restaurant and tasting room. Without further ado, let’s dig in!

2020 Justin Rose Central Coast – Mostly based on syrah. Bright notes of strawberry and some hibiscus give this rose a classic construction, with a nod at vanilla emerging on the back end. Fresh and lightly sweet, the rose pairs just fine with white chocolate, including one in the mix that saw passion fruit embedded in its center, but especially a strawberry basil offering, which sounds extremely weird but, when paired with the wine, emerges as a uniquely delightful experience. A- / $20

2019 Justin Justification – 51% cabernet franc, 49% merlot, unfiltered. This is a delight of a wine, gently sweet with plummy notes and milk chocolate, with an engaging herbal character emerging late in the experience, complementing the fruity attack with notes of rosemary and some basil. Hint of passion fruit on the finish. This wine was paired with a sea salt caramel caramel, and the combo worked well, but I actually loved this wine with all of the chocolates in the box. A- / $60 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]

2018 Justin Isosceles Paso Robles – 83% cabernet sauvignon, 9% merlot, 8% cabernet franc, unfiltered. A rich, classic expression of Isosceles, loaded with currants and dark chocolate, heavy with tannins but touched with notes of hazelnut, oregano, and basil giving the wine a distinctly herbal character on the finish. You’d think this would pair well with chocolate but I found the pairing tough going. A hazelnut praline didn’t fit, while the cabernet dark chocolate was more straightforward — albeit less mind-blowing than desired. A- / $76 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]

2019 Justin Right Angle Paso Robles – This wine (61% cabernet sauvignon, 23% malbec, 9% petite sirah, 7% petit verdot) wasn’t part of the chocolate pairing, but it arrived around the same time, so we’re throwing it into the roundup. It’s a simpler wine than the above reds, with notes of currant and a sweeter milk chocolate character, rounded out with vanilla notes and touches of greenery, hinting at spearmint. More straightforward, but also a good value. B+ / $35

2019 Justin Right Angle Paso Robles


Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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