Three new releases from Paso Robles-based Justin — at least two of which are summer-friendly.
2022 Justin Rose Central Coast – Made from mostly syrah. Fresh with strawberry notes and doughy, sweet cream, this is as agreeable a summer rose as you’re likely to find anywhere, though there’s not a whole lot of complexity to be found in the proceedings up front, which tend to be overwhelmingly fruit-driven. The wine fortunately develops in glass, with a mix of saline, lemon curd, and vanilla giving the finish a more balanced composition. As solid a porch pounder as any rose you’ll find on the market. A- / $20
2022 Justin Sauvignon Blanc Central Coast – A surprisingly restrained sauvignon blanc, notes of coconut and sesame dominant, offering a slightly doughy quality that vaguely hints at dried pineapple and a touch of lychee. A slight salinity and a hint of lemon give the wine some purchase on the tip of tongue, bit it’s all mild, quiet, held back. That makes for a decidedly easy-drinking summer wine, but with sauvignon blanc, I’m always hoping for a bolder, more bracing attack. B+ / $18
2020 Justin Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles – One of Justin’s most widely available red wines, this non-triangle-named cabernet features classic California hallmarks of blackcurrant, black raspberry, and powerful notes of vanilla and chocolate — here more milk than dark. The tannins have faded away on this bottling already, making for a juicy and fruit-forward experience, hints of rhubarb and spice lingering on the finish. No surprises here, though the overall presentation feels on the sweet side. Pair it with something nice and savory. B+ / $30