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Pairing Wine and Cigars: JUSTIN Isosceles Reserve 2006 and La Palina El Diario
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
In preparation for the upcoming Crush and Roll West cigar festival, we invited a local cigar expert to pair a legendary Paso Robles wine and an exemplary cigar. Here is his suggestion:
The Isosceles Reserve is the highest expression of the winemaking craft at JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery. This estate wine reflects the
pinnacle of the efforts of Justin Winery.
The winery treats this wine in very special ways: they plant
the vines from native root stock, they plant in nutrient-depleted soils, which
are dry-farmed, hand-harvested and produce tiny yields that are big in flavor. Painstaking
efforts by the vineyard and winemaking team including hand sorting, cold
soaking open top fermentation, extended maceration and aging in 100% new French
oak barrels for up to 25 months.
The 2006 Reserve is a dark garnet in the glass, when out of
the light and when you put the glass up to a light, it is a raspberry red. It
is big and bold and wonderfully aromatic. The nose is full of ripe blackberry,
black cherry and chocolate.
This wine fills the palate like an expanding balloon. It
displays huge flavors of fresh raspberries and strawberries. There are tannins
and acids in this wine that give it balance, but it is still smooth and easy to
drink. This is a big wine that also displays finesse and complexity. This wine
will have many years left to age, so I'm not worried about letting these rest.
Matching a cigar with a wine of this depth and complexity
requires some careful consideration. You won’t want to overmatch the wine and
detract from its enjoyment, nor will you want to detract from the cigar such
that you shouldn’t have lit up in the first place. You want a cigar with a
hefty palate presence, like the wine, and with fullness of flavor but not
One good match would be the La Palina El Diario. I like the
torpedo shape, which measures 6.1-inches by 52 ring gauge. This cigar has a
grassy sweetness on the palate, which seemed focused and yet rich at the same
time. This would, in my opinion, balance the tannins in the wine. The El Diario
also displays spicy character, wood notes and cocoa bean flavors, which would
all pair comfortably with the wine.
For more information on pairing and enjoying cigars and wine, be sure to attend
Crush & Roll West 2013. The Central Coast’s premiere wine and cigar
festival takes place September 6 - 7, 2013 in Paso Robles, California.
"Doc" Diaz is the publisher and the editor of the Stogie
Fresh Cigar Publications.
He has served as an educator, researcher and writer and has taught in the
Health Education and Health Science field for over 30 years. He possesses an
earned doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. Doc is a Certified Master Tobacconist (CMT),
having received this certification from the Tobacconist University and is a
member and Ambassador of Cigar Rights of America (CRA).