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At a time when so many wines, especially those on the shelves of large retailers, are trending towards a soft and sweet character, it’s refreshing to find a winery that emphasizes a brilliant acidity which tailors each of their offerings perfectly to be enjoyed with food.   Hammersky Vineyards is a gem in that sense, setting an example that other’s should take stock of for themselves.

HammerSky 2013 “Party of Four” Blend

Grape(s): 35% Merlot, 35% Cabernet, & 30% Petite Sirah

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 50-55

Tasting Notes:

The nose offers a wealth of blueberries, tart cherries, and raspberries with accents of barrel spice. A nice core of raspberry, pomegranate, and boysenberry is framed by polished tannins that weave in a few oaky and brown spice hints. Somewhat lighter in body but lively in flavor, match it up with sirloin kabobs.

Rating: 90

HammerSky 2013 Cabernet

Grape(s): 95% Cabernet Sauvignon & 5%Merlot

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 80-85

Tasting Notes:

Lots of black cherries, blackberries, and cassis come together with expressions of anise, mint, and vanilla on the nose. Red cherry, raspberry, and blackberry dominate the palate, with suggestions of mint and clove following up. A bright acidity and chewy tannins give this wine a nice backbone. Pair it with lamb chops. 204 cases were made.

Rating: 91

HammerSky 2014 “Straight de Barrel” Blend

Grape(s): 35% Cabernet, 35% Merlot & 32% Petite Sirah

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 115-120

Tasting Notes:

Elements of blackberries, boysenberries, and cassis come together with clove, chocolate, and cedar on the nose. Rich dark fruit comes forth on the palate, with flavors of black cherry, blackberry, and currants flowing into notes of pepper, smoky oak, and dark chocolate. A full-bodied wine with vibrant flavors and acidity, a juicy hamburger would make a lovely companion.

Rating: 90

Hammer Sky 2013 “Red Handed” Merlot

Grape(s): 100% Merlot

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

One is drawn in by aromas of tangy plums, cherries, and blueberries with accents of toasty oak. Lush with rounded tannins on the palate with flavors of bing cherry, blueberry, pomegranate, and toasty barrel spice. Nice structure with the acid to perk up your taste buds, this wine could be aged for a few years or enjoyed now with roast duck. 283 cases were made.

Rating: 89

Hammer Sky 2013 Zinfandel

Grape(s): 95% Zinfandel & 5% Petite Sirah

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

A mix of cherries, cranberries, plums, and pepper greets the senses. Ripe and bright red fruit flavors play off of suggestions of smoky oak, white pepper, and minerals on the palate. There’s good balance in this wine making it a fine choice to pair with a thin crust pizza. 294 cases produced.

Rating: 89