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Niner 2005 Fog Catcher Paso Robles 

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This special red blend has enough age to make it perfect for drinking now, but will benefit from another five years in the cellar. A cuvée of 65 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 25 percent Cabernet Franc, and 10 percent Merlot, it was grown in Niner’s Bootjack Ranch Vineyard on Paso Roble’s east side of the Salinas River. A big, rich red with layers of flavors, it’s quite tasty at this point. It offers notes of black cherry, cassis, and cranberry, with moderate tannins and a lingering finish of earth and spice. It’s a special occasion wine at $50 retail, available at the new tasting room on Hwy. 46 West. Winemaker Amanda Cramer suggests pairing it with grilled steak with horseradish sauce, pasta with sweet Italian sausage, or 70 percent bittersweet chocolate.

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