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Noted vintner Charlie Wagner attended Liberty School in Rutherford, California and years later, Charlie Wagner and his wife, Lorna Belle Glos, built their new home using wood from the original Liberty School structure. In 1972, the Wagner family founded Caymus Vineyards and began producing Cabernet Sauvignon. A few years later, they created a secondary wine offering value priced Cabernet Sauvignon. The first vintage of Liberty School was produced in 1975, using fruit that didn't make the cut for Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes were later sourced from other regions in California and Chile.
In the late 1980s, the Wagners met Chuck Hope and his brother Paul, who had been growing grapes in Paso Robles since 1980. The Hope family became growers for Liberty School over the years.
In 1996, the Hope family acquired the label and began producing Liberty School in Paso Robles. Since then, the Hope family has added Liberty School Chardonnay, Cuvée, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The wines are comprised of fruit from over fifty family owned Paso Robles and Central Coast vineyards, some of which were developed by the Hope family. The wines are fruit driven, barrel aged and reflect varietal and regional character.
The winemaker is Jason Diefenderfer. The wines are distributed with a focus to on-premise accounts.
2012 Liberty School Central Coast Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.77, TA 0.69, 39,895 cases, $20. From Hope Family Wines, Austin Hope proprietor. Multiple fruit sources including west Paso Robles, Arroyo Seco section of Monterey, and San Benito County east of Monterey. Aged 6 months in 80% French and 20% American oak barrels. Cross-flow filtered before bottling in April 2013. Jason Diefenderfer winemaker. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Quite showy upon opening, fading some over time and taking on a confected note in the glass. Aromas of purple grapes, cherries and ripe strawberries with a hint of violets. Good fruit intensity on the palate with easy to like flavors of red and black cherries with a hint of spice and dark chocolate. Well-managed fine-grain tannins with a sweet cherry finish. Less appealing over time in the glass. Score: 86. Reviewed September 29, 2013 ARTICLE »