Justin is a family owned winery founded in 1981 by Justin and Deborah Baldwin.  They have around 160 acres of vineyards planted primarily with Bordeaux varietals, and they produce around 50,000 cases a year.

2006 Sauvignon Blanc, Paso Robles, Justin, 14.5%
There was a heatwave in the early summer of 2006, though the later varieties to be harvested didn’t pick up much more alcohol.  This wine had just been released for sale two weeks previously.
It has a slightly spirity, herbaceous nose.  This feels like a decent warm climate sauvignon blanc: very definitely from a hot climate.  There’s a good minerality  though, and great length.  Good/Very Good.  85/100

2005 Chardonnay, Paso Robles, Justin, 13.5%
This did not undergo malolactic fermentation.  It was matured for six months in 10% new French oak, the other 90% being matured in a mix of old oak and stainless steel.
It has quite a muted nose with some smoky mango fruit.  Nice and open on the palate, this was described to me as having “only a kiss of oak”, which just about summed it up.  There’s good balance and a nice acidity.  This is made in a very old world style, and is an impressive wine.  Very Good Indeed.  92/100

2005 The Orphan, Paso Robles, Justin 14.5%
This is predominantly cabernet sauvignon, with around 20% syrah and a few per cent of other varietals.  It has a soft cassis nose muted by some blackberry fruit.  There’s good soft fruit on the palate.  This is jolly nice.  89/100

2004 Isosceles, Paso Robles, Justin, 15%
Isosceles is Justin’s flagship wine, a left bank style Bordeaux blend, though unusually for a flagship, the profile of Isosceles changes year by year, rather than aiming at a consistent style.  The wine is produced from the dry-farmed vineyards planted by Justin Baldwin in 1981.  The vines are low yielding, and the wines undergo extended barrel ageing in French oak.  They also mature around 6,000 bottles of an Isosceles Reserve.  The 2004 is a blend of 79% cabernet sauvignon, 11% cabernet franc, 10% merlot.  It is matured for 18 months in French oak, with quarterly racking by gravity before being bottled unfiltered.  It remains in bottle for a further year before being released for sale.  The 2004 was released in January 2007; it will start drinking in two to three years and will reach its prime in 10 years or so. 

The nose has a lovely cigar box feel to it, with lots of black fruit, the blackcurrant showing more on the nose with some aeration.  Soft and open palate.  This is very balanced with quite nice ripe flavours, but without being jammy.  There’s nice structure, but you don’t really notice the tannins till the finish and after.  Very Good Indeed+.  91/100

2006 Deborah’s Delight, Paso Robles, Justin, 12%
This is a lightly fortified blend of 67% viognier and 33% orange muscat.
The nose has very gently fragranced peach, peach flowers and white flowers.  Very attractive on the palate, and not at all oversweet.  It seems to be made in a voluptuous, yet elegant, immediately inviting style.  It’s light and attractive, though perhaps a bit simple.  It’s also a mad price: $50 for a half bottle.  Very Good.  86/100


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Last updated: 3 January 2008