Wine of the Week: 2008 Cypher Winery “Cypher” Paso Robles Eclectic Red

My wine of the week for April 21-April 27 is the 2008 Cypher Winery “Cypher” Eclectic Red.

The Winery

If you haven’t been to Paso Robles in a couple of years, you may not be familiar with Cypher Winery.  It’s the latest venture of Christian Tietje, and his partner Susan Mahler.  It used to be known as Four Vines.  Tietje started Four Vines in 1994.  They made a name for themselves selling full-throttle hedonistic Zinfandel and Chardonnay.  They were acquired by Purple Wine Company in 2010.   Tietje remains on with Four Vines as a consulting winemaker.

Cypher offers an interesting collection of wines including the “Freakshow” line of wines, with names like “Anarchy”, “Heretic”, and “Peasant”.  On a recent trip to Paso Robles, I tasted through their lineup, and found the wines to very good to excellent.  This was my favorite.

Cypher Winery is co-located with Farmstand 46.  It’s a great place for lunch! They dish healthy gourmet foods, including fantastic sandwiches, and wood fire oven pizza, made from locally grown organic ingredients some of which are sourced from their “estate” produce.  The co-location with Cypher is no accident, Tietjethe winemaker for Cypherwas a chef in Boston before he was a winemaker, and is part of the joint venture that owns the place.

The Wine

Eclectic indeed!  This wine is composed of 12 varieties of grapes – Teroldego (15%), Petite Verdot (14%), Souzao (13%), Petite Sirah (13%), Carignan (9%), Alicante Bouschet (9%), Syrah (6%), Tinta Cao (5%), Tinta Roriz (a.k.a. Tempranillo-5%), Tannat (5%), Touriga Nacional (4%), and Zinfandel (2%).

According to the Cypher website here’s how the wine came to be:

6 years in the making… the quest to create “Cypher” originated from a Portuguese wine tasted by Christian that was big, tannic, and monstrous with a sexy mouth feel. “Cypher” is Christian’s version of the temptation he once tasted

Wow! 12 different varieties of grapes…

Cost: $40

Alcohol: 15.5%

513 Cased made

This is a well-made seriously fun wine with lots of personality.  My tasting notes follow:

Inky violet color with dark fruit, slightly earthy, and spicy aromas.  On the palate it’s big, and full-bodied with intense, bountiful ripe blackberry, blueberry, plum and vanilla spice flavors.  Medium finish. 

Pairing with food

This one screams grilled T-Bone, or some smoked baby back ribs to me….but who needs food?  This one would be just fine on its own!