Yup, you read that ABV correctly, that's a Californian Cabernet sub 13% alcohol! And what a stunning wine it is, with such a pretty nose - hints of violets, sweet Romano peppers and soft herbal tones, like walking into a greenhouse on a warm day. Supple leather, blackberries, dried herbs and a touch of lavender - very much so in the style made famous by America's most influential post-prohibition era winemaker, André Tchelistcheff. With lighter extraction and oak treatment, it's light to medium bodied for a Cab perhaps, but still distinctly Cab, with a succulent palate, with hints of warm earth and sun-baked terracotta, bacon fat, and a fine, refreshing acidity.
Ian Brand was San Francisco Chronicle's Winemaker of the Year 2018. His journey into wine is far from ordinary- after years living somewhat a nomadic lifestyle of adventure, he got a job doing maintenance at iconic Santa Cruz winery, Bonny Doon, which soon led to a job in the cellar, where he spent several happy years working under Randall Grahm. In 2002, he took up the role of assistant winemaker at relatively new Monterey County estate, Big Basin, where he fell in love with the extraordinary Monterey County terroir, its dramatic microclimates generated through the combination of Californian sunshine, sea breezes and fog, and the amazing and little-known vineyards and their soils. P'tit Paysan wines was launched in 2008, its name a slightly ironic self-reference to Monterey's status as a nowhere place in comparison with many grander grape-growing locations in California.