DEFIANCE is a family moto, as well as classy wines. The Falcon is their logo as their family name is Faulkner.
The Defiance winery property is a family-owned home-estate family project. Sister property manager/winemaker, mentoring sister as the new winemaker, and other family fully involved, they are growing over 4,000 tons of fruit that they currently (perhaps temporarily) sell off to other prime winemakers in the area (names were mentioned, kept confidential here). They started to keep the prime grapes to try making their own wine since 2017. They didn’t really have a lot of sales outlets yet, so they submitted in State contest AND their Petite Syrah won BEST OF SHOW at an international competition and 96 points despite the glut of wines in Cali, AND THEN wone a Gold in another and 91 points. This put them on the map for their own fruit products and improved the fruit value.
The brand logo is a Falcon because the family name is Falconer, an Irish-Dutch history that are in the construction/building trade. The current vinehard, they feel, will be known for Bordeaux style grapes due to the soil and water resources they enjoy. As a young winery, they have determined to be a quality brand iof mid to higher priced quality wines with class and finesse rather than go after the lower-market. WIth the quality of their estate fruit already validated by the local vineyards buying it, the recent gold recognition of select wines, and plans for careful winemaking strategies and investment, the current offerings suggest they can stand up and prove themselves pretty quickly.
Erin Faulkner, a well-educated MBA with business background, is driving and directing the family as a business. She is currently the familly winemaker and Vineyard Manager but planning to move winemaking to her sister, who is stepping up to the task. She and her father were in construction all their lives and they have the privilege of building the estate together. As a family they planted the vineyards by hand and physically manage them with the help of contracted support . She has a clear plan to move the winery forward.
They had some winemakers working with them, but retained complete control of all the decision making. Now the sister is going to come in and be winemaker. The sister-in-law does marketing, and a brother does the artwork on the labels.
We tried several wines
1. Malbec Rose. Absolutely delicious. Surprisingly creamy and strawberry. Seemed like “strawberry whipped cream fruit”. Was so impressed with it I asked to finish the bottle later that night. It just kept tasting nicer.
2. Cabernet Franc 2019. At the moment it’s a little tight, but it does have a balance of fruit pop and herbaceous black cherry fruit, and light spice with a backbone of tannin that lingers. It’s very mouth-watering in its acid and its food ready. This can lay down and will continue to open with a little time. Will be balanced and lovely soon.
3. 2019 Malbec was very interesting. Earthy and jammy and good without being overpowering. Very small berries in production from a high-end wine field. They pull it in before it gets hot. It has bright cherry and lingering tannins on the aftertaste with a nice earthy old world style. Seem to me to be similar to Spain and Italy. Not a wimpy Malbec, but also not too big.
4, BREACH — A “ Petite/Petite = Petite Syrah and Petite Verot = is JUST AMAZING. To get the price down, used a ‘eco bottle” screw cap and recycled glass. It is bold but not too bold. It’s very lovely with balanced gorgeous jammy fruit that isn’t hot or to acidic or tutanic. Generally a crowd pleaser that’s a good zipper. It has flavors of chocolate and soft cherry and I basically said a chocolate covered cherry with a lot of food flavors. It haa finesse and I wanted to keep drinking it, and took the open bottle home to finish. Delicious, even late into the evening with food. REALLY like this wine, and if we can’t get it in Ohio, join the wine club! :)
5. 100% Petite Syrah was like a big Cabernet alternative. A petite that’s not very petite, it’s pretty big. Someone said in a quote ”It was taming the beast, a petite or a Cab lover “. Could even still develop a little more and will age well.
6. Cabernet at the end to see what it’s going to be like. While it’s not ready yet cuz it’s still a little tight and it needs some work taming tannins and integration, it’s not asstringent and it has big red fruit. It’s not a Cabernet that’s classic for Paso Robles because it’s not overly hot. It’s very good. I said it just needed food to return the moisture to your palet. It has a lingering lasting quality that continues to taste good and it will be great when the fruit integrates with it and balances out. Because it’s so young and good already, I think it will do that.
Overall every single wine had desirable jammy fruit underneath with a lot of structure and complexity. There were layers in every wine that I expected to continue to open and if they were a little tightened out they’re not going to go away. They have a lot going on in each wine and the price point is actually under solid value.
Also appreciated the developing property, creating a world of private club wine lovers. if you are not in Paso Robles, you can’t enjoy those benefits…. it was the only time this trip I thought I might like to live here.