Upon first sip of this wine, I immediately felt that this glass was filled with something special. I did not know what I was drinking, yet my palate was seduced and intrigued. I was at a wine dinner with close to 10 bottles of wines on the table. When I got a taste of this red juice, I knew I was drinking something that was exceptional. You know they say that a wine can talk to you, that each glass has a story, well this wine was speaking to me. It was speaking to me of the legends and story of Booker Wines and it’s notable neighbors.
As I began to take more and more sips, I heard the story of My Favorite Neighbor unraveling. The story was unfolding directly from Glenn Mitton from Booker Winery. Booker is named after two orphan brothers, Claude and Dick Booker who owned the Paso Robles land in the late 1920’s. The two were passionate farmers who were deeply dedicated to the Paso Robles community. Helping neighbors with their farming expertise, they were also philanthropic in their approach and left their estate to charity upon passing.
In 2001 Eric and Lisa Jensen purchased 100 acres of the property, and started growing fruit for some of the most prestigious wineries of Paso Robles. Eric went on to make wine with some of his neighbors, Justin Smith of Saxum Vineyards and Stephan Asseo of L’Aventure Winery. Later in 2005 Eric Jensen made his first vintage of Booker wine.
My Favorite Neighbor (SRP $80)
My Favorite Neighbor is an homage to French winemaker Stephan Asseo, who is Eric Jensen’s neighbor and mentor. Stephan, one of the leading winemakers in Paso Robles has contributed immensely to the success of the region. His wines have earned high scores and much critical acclaim.
The 2016 vintage of My Favorite Neighbor has 4 different labels representing Booker’s Paso Robles neighbors: Stephan Asseo and vineyard workers Angelica, Micaela, and Aurelio. The passion and admiration Eric has for this wine and his neighbors is artistically captured with the gripping photography on the label.
Angelica is on the first label, and she understand the wines and the soils. Micaela specializes in the precise handwork needed for each vine and claims to know every vine in the vineyard. Aurelio specializes in vineyard canopy management and thinks that wine was created by the gods… and him. Lastly on the label is Stephan, a farmer, winemaker, family man and mentor. Stephan is the inspiration behind this wine, which is dedicated to the people who helped create it.
Today Eric Jensen is one of the premier winemakers in Paso Robles. With incredible mentors and neighbors, Jensen’s wine will rival any prestigious Bordeaux or Napa Cult wine. The 2016 My Favorite Neighbor is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with Syrah and Petite Verdot, aged in 75% new French Oak. The wine is elegant, structured and seductive. Amazing notes of violets, licorice, cacao, nutmeg and cassis. The tannins were silky and persistent with a long finish. The wine is well balanced, energetic and breathtaking. Grab your bottles today, as only 500 cases produced.