Vinous scores 2018 Vintage - Denner Vineyards
Winemaker Anthony Yount produced a stellar set of wines in 2018, all of which exhibit the vibrant fruit character that marks the vintage. Once again, I was impressed by the all-Carignan Sacred Burro bottling, which shows the potential of this still-obscure variety in Paso Robles, both as a blending grape and for a stand-alone varietal bottling. While more and more wineries have begun to include it in their plantings and the resulting wines, nobody yet is doing it as consistently well as Denner. December 2020
2018 Sacred Burro 94
Saturated ruby. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red/blue fruits, incense and pungent flowers, and an exotic spice nuance builds in the glass. Gently sweet black raspberry, boysenberry, spice-cake and candied lavender flavors steadily deepen through the midpalate. Smooth, even tannins add shape to an impressively long, blue-fruit- and floral-accented finish that shows fine definition and lift.
Drinking window: 2022 - 2031
2018 Dirt Worshipper 96
Deep, brilliant purple. An expansive, smoke- and spice-accented bouquet evokes fresh black/blue fruits, succulent flowers, incense and baking spices. Juicy and broad on the palate, offering deeply concentrated boysenberry, blackberry, fruitcake and violet pastille flavors that become more lively as the wine opens up. Shows fine clarity and floral thrust on a tenacious finish framed by velvety, finely knit tannins.
Drinking window: 2024 - 2034
2018 Ditch Digger 95
Glass-staining ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red/blue fruits, incense and potpourri, and a spicy top-note builds as the wine opens up. Alluringly sweet and deeply concentrated, offering intense boysenberry, cherry, lavender pastille and spice-cake flavors that become livelier as the wine stretches out. Displays fine delineation and bold, spicy thrust on an impressively long, sweet finish framed by supple, slow-building tannins.
Drinking window: 2022 - 2032
2018 Grenache 94
Saturated ruby. Heady cherry and black raspberry liqueur scents are complicated by suggestions of incense, baking spices and candied flowers. Sappy and expansive on the palate, offering sweet red and dark berry and candied lavender flavors and an energizing snap of white pepper. Shows impressive depth, but there's no excess fat here. Finishes with excellent clarity, well-integrated tannins and strong, spicy persistence.
Drinking window: 2022 - 2031
2018 Viognier 93
Pale, green-hued yellow. Penetrating aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits are complicated by hints of chalky minerals and pungent flowers. Juicy and deeply concentrated but lively as well, offering mineral-laced pear and Meyer lemon flavors that show fine clarity and sharp focus. The mineral and floral notes repeat strongly on the penetrating finish, which hangs on with impressive persistence.
Drinking window: 2020 - 2023
2018 Theresa 93
Limpid yellow. Aromas of poached pear and white peach are complicated by orange zest, dusty mineral and floral nuances. Sappy and focused in the mouth, offering chewy, mineral-laced orchard and pit fruit flavors that show bright, spicy lift and cut on the back half. Clings with strong tenacity on a vibrant finish that leaves behind suave floral and honey notes.
Drinking window: 2021 - 2028