The day after Garagiste 2022 Paso Robles, we spent a pleasant afternoon with Roger Nicolas, proprietor of RN Estate Vineyard. After a lot of tasting and quite a bit of conversation, we brought home a case of wine, a mix of vintages and styles.
A few days ago we opened the 2016 and 2018 Harmonie des Cépages. And we learned a valuable lesson. This blend needs to sit for a few years before opening.
The 2016 (may be available if you visit the winery) was just about perfect. Aromas of black cherries and other dark fruit with a hint of earthiness. The palate is lush with blackberries and raspberries and a nice touch of spice. A long finish with a good acid balance makes for a truly outstanding wine.
The 2018 ($55) opens with aromas that are very subtle with a bit of floral scents. The palate is lighter than the 2016 with more acid but the same lush mouthfeel and the same black raspberries. There is a good long finish with silky tannins. If you have a bottle of this, consider giving it another year or two.
Both wines are Paso Robles AVA. And both feature the classic Bordeaux grapes. The 2016 is 33% cabernet franc, 26% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot, 14% malbec, and 3% petit Verdot. The 2018 is 33% cabernets sauvignon, 29% cabernet franc, 29% merlot, 8% petit Verdot, and 1% malbec.
M. Nicolas retains his title “genius.”