Sunday, November 21, 2021

Herman Story Bolt Cutter Red Blend 2018

Herman Story Bolt Cutter Red Blend 2018 for Pizza and Pasta

Alec and Vivianna came over for pizza and pasta and we opened this BIG RED for the occasion. 

With a name like "Bolt Cutter", what else might one expect than a big bold concentrated firm forward fruit bomb?

Bolt Cutter was first released in 2012, the inaugural vintage made with a majority share of Bordeaux varietals. The wine is a diversion from the usual Herman Story wines that historically focus on Rhône varietals such as Syrah and Grenache. The name is a playful nod toproducer/winemaker Russell P. From’s most iconic wine: Nuts & Bolts. This is Herman Story for the “I only drink Napa Cab” crowd. 

I wrote about Herman Story and an older vintage release of this label in an earlier blogpost and another one of his labels in a recent blogpost.  

This label from Russel From, Herman Story winemaker and proprietor, is a tribute label from one of those producer's with a sense of humor. As I have written in earlier blogposts, every Herman Story label tells the story on the rear label, "Herman Story was a Rancher, Logger, Swapper, Banker, Philanthropist, a teller of tales and my Grandfather. - Russel From, winemaker, proprietor."

Proprietor and winemaker Russell P. From began Herman Story Wines in 2001 with 7 barrels stashed in his employer’s cellar. What started as a modest homage to his rancher grandfather has become a beacon to those seeking opulent, structured Syrah and Grenache. To maintain balance while giving flavor full stage, Russell works with 30 top-tier growers' vineyards in over 7 distinct growing regions between Santa Barbara and Paso Robles along the California Central Coast. Its widely published that he produces "no nonsense, balls to the walls wines that are not for the faint of heart or the pinky raising set".

With a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Petit Verdot and 10% Syrah this embodies everything we love in a big bold full throttle red wine. Fruit for this release is sourced from the Chelle Mountain, Slide Hill, Star Lane, Jespersen, White Hawk, Bien Nacido, White Cliffs, and Rolph Vineyards across Paso Robles region. The blend was aged for 24 months in 80% new French oak.

As From writes on his website about his no-nonsense approach to winemaking, "Herman Story Wines are made, schlepped, peddled, and drunk with friends by me. The basic web design books tell me that you're probably here for the basics: to find release schedules, ordering information and tasting opportunities for the wines I make, which sounds pretty good to me. The less time I spend writing this stuff the more time I spend in the cellar. So here you go, all the facts with none of the filler. An aesthetic I stand by and believe my wines do too."

Wine Enthusiast gave this a "Cellar Selection" and 94 points, while Jeb Dunnuck gave it a whopping 96 points and said, "It's the finest vintage of this cuvée I've tasted."

Producer's review of this wine speaks to its special, profound character and profile ....  "No one in Ellis County has ever seen a twister like this. Pushing F5 and tossing cows like nobody’s business. It’s about to separate the roof from this old Dodge Durango, but you’re still pushing. Inside, they pass around black licorice and cherry soda to easy listening classics – soothing keys and guitar riffs straight out of elevator speakers. e storm hits a supermarket, then a bakery. Cinnamon buns and rhubarb pies splatter on the road, the hood, the windshield, and the wheels come off the ground. Around you go, hundreds of feet in the air. But damn, listen to that bass groove."

Winemaker Tasting Notes:  "The 2018 Bolt Cutter Red is 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Petit Verdot, 25% Syrah (sic, contrary to the rear label). There’s no denying it, with this much attitude, swagger and raw unbridled power nothing can stop this. This is basically an axe wielding shark wearing a tuxedo, driving a monster truck in an Evel Knievel jump across the Grand Canyon. Prickly pear jam, salted cherries, hoisin sauce, fire scorched poblanos, brand new BF Goodrich 33’’ Baja T/AS off road tires, char crusted bloody filet mignon, blasted limestone quarry, Ferrari seats, well spiced Mexican hot chocolate and rusted pocket knives."

You can't make this up! How else could you top that review? Nothing less than BOMBastic!

Not for the feint of heart indeed, this was dark inky blackish purple, almost like syrup pouring it from the bottle, thick, dense, powerful concentrated unctuous black fruits, dark bitter mocha, black licorice, hints of cherry cola, caramel and cinnamon clove spices with what Wine Enthusiast calls roasted meats on a lasting dry, tannin laced tongue coating finish. 

RM 95 point.