Best of the Best 2011: Domestic Red Wines: Justin 2008 Focus Paso Robles

After acquiring 160 acres of land in the Adelaide hills west of Paso Robles, Calif., Deborah and Justin Baldwin established Justin Vineyards, which became one of the pioneering wine enterprises in that region during the 1980s. The success of Isosceles—the Baldwins’ Pauillac-style blend of Cab­ernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc—raised the region’s profile among members of the wine press, spurring tourism and inspiring other producers to push for higher quality in their harvests. Yet the apogee of the winery’s art is surely the Justin 2008 Focus Paso Robles (www.justinwine.com, $95), an evocative Syrah available only through an allocation list. This inky wine is saturated with aromas of sweet peas, smoky bacon, brown spice, and sweet black plum.

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