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Special Report - 2009 Nicora - lightning in a bottle, the debut of Nick Elliott

May 4, 2012 | Paso Robles - When I was returning home from World of Pinot Noir in March, I stopped off in Paso Robles to taste at Epoch, Terry Hoage and Herman Story. As the wine business anywhere is somewhat of a small community, I always ask about new producers that may be emerging. I heard the name Nicora at my first stop (uttered in what I took to be ‘real insider skinny’. The next stop allowed me to learn a little more about the credentials of the maker and look at the website. After that, the brand went on my short list of producers to follow up with the next time i was in the area, which was Hospice du Rhone, where I finally met the winemaker, Nick Elliott. As I was moving through the tasting at a pretty fast pace, I asked if we could meet up a week later when I returned from my tasting trip to Santa Ynez. We got that chance yesterday and the results were very impressive.

When first meeting winemaker, Nick Elliott, I got the impression of a serious young man who appoaches the business of winemaking with the reverence and appreciation of someone who is doing something that is bigger than what they would have ever imagined. In other words, humble and grateful for the opportunity. As recently as 2005, Elliott was not even near the wine business, instead involved in his family’s multi-generational general contracting business located in the Central Valley. But taking a chance to come to Paso Robles doing a first vintage on a consulting project working for Scott Hawley (Torrin) got the juices flowing and his premiere release 2009 sold out in a flash. 

The duo of rhone variety blends; Euphoric, 85GR|15SR, and Buxom, 90SR|10GR are arguably some of the best premiere releases I have seen come out of the central coast, period. Primarily, they have very well defined aromatic focus, with polished, lengthy and dynamic fruit expresion on the palate. There is a lot to like…

“It is a very rare occurence when a brand (even one well mentored) debuts with wines of this stature. Elliott’s plans for growth are deliberate, and incremental. I see nothing to get in the way of consistently solid wines coming out of here. Definitely a winemaker to watch, it is clear he absorbs the wisdom of what he learns like a sponge.” doug wilder, pdwr


93 2009 Nicora Red Wine Euphoric

Paso Robles, 16.0% alcohol, $48. 50 cs. 85GR|15SR

Immediately, the wine shows a gorgeous nose of intense and lively black and red raspberry with an overlay of warm underbrush and pulverized rock, blossoming from the glass like an orchid, along with savory and mineral notes. The palate is very smooth and bright on entry showing an unusual overall balance focused on supple, savory and ripe flavors of cherry and red currant. Drink 2012 - 2022. www.nicorawine.com 


94 2009 Nicora Red Wine Buxom

Paso Robles, 16.0% alcohol, $48. 50 cs. 90SR|10GR

An immediately intense and pure nose of blackberry and black pepper with plenty of polished extraction. The palate shows flavor shadings of rich chocolate, black pepper and berry/currant. It is very approachable, supple and polished. Drink 2012 - 2020.



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