Winemaker Jeremy Leffert

Jeremy Leffert is the new winemaker at Whalebone Winery

He relocated to California after completing his bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in Natural History from the University of Vermont. Immediately after moving to Santa Barbara, CA, Leffert discovered wine and felt particularly drawn to the vineyards. Upon discovering Cal poly in San Luis Obispo, he met Dr. Keith Patterson and immediately applied and enrolled in a Masters program in Crop Science with a focus in Viticulture. Leffert's passion exceeded his desire to learn as he strove to perfect his viticulture knowledge and abilities under the mentor ship of Dr. Patterson. Jeremy was the winemaker for Hearst Ranch Winery from its inception in 2009 to 2014, when he assumed the role of Director of Wine making at The Workshop in San Luis Obispo. Leffert has been avid guitarist since childhood and currently lives in San Luis Obispo with his wife Melissa.

"I am thrilled to assume this new role and continue Whalebone Vineyard's legacy" says Leffert.

Jeremy Leffert was named our new winemaker March 2015.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Planted exclusively with Estrella Clone 8, Whalebone Vineyard’s south facing limestone slopes support vines bearing small clusters of tiny berries full of rich flavors and tannins. Our vineyard is comprised of four distinct blocks planted in soils with variations of depths as well as shale and limestone rock intrusions that ultimately shape the character of the wines yielded from them. Our estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons are some of the last grapes harvested in the entire Paso Robles region, normally ripening during the last weeks of October.

Hand picking at full maturity, which generally completes after short, cooler fall days ensue, assures us of balanced wines fully expressive of our unique terroir. We typically bring our fruit in at 24.5 brix, which keeps the alcohols well in check, and retain ample acidity to assure that the varietal flavors remain lively and vibrant.

Fermentation is done in small vats utilizing a combination of both open-top fermenters manually punched down, and traditional, pumped-over tanks. Each method can add complexity of tannins and/or fruit intensity, depending upon a variety of factors, and the ultimate goal is to fully extract what each lot of fruit has to offer.

Separately fermented and aged, each lot of wine is barreled in top quality French and American oak for 20 months. We carefully select the finest barrels of each lot for our vintage Cabernet Sauvignon bottling, with the remainder blended into a major component of BobWine. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, Whalebone vintage Cabernet Sauvignon offers richly classic Bordeaux flavors in a uniquely Paso Robles style.

Bob Wine

A truly special blend that has captured a wide following of wine lovers, BobWine has become our own “cult classic”. By carefully selecting the softer, more approachable lots of our estate-grown Cabernet for the base wine of this blend, our goal is to craft a solid, fruit-forward claret-style red that ideally expresses the inherent flavors of Paso Robles winemaking. Built around Cabernet Sauvignon, we utilize various top-quality supporting varietals to bring out the bold fruit character, and lush flavor potential in this wine.

Meant for short-term aging and relatively early consumption, BobWine aims to please those seeking a wine with moderate complexity of tannins, and generous fruit character. Using winemaking techniques that bring forward the supple fruit notes, and soften any aggressive tannin influence, we are able to create a synergy of blended varietals that focus upon the great ripeness and solid flavors found in our region’s reds.

Using time-honored techniques for fermentation and barrel aging, we’ve managed to consistently offer this blend from year-to-year in an evolving flavor profile that accents those supporting varietals that perform particularly well in a given vintage. The result is a wine that showcases the best flavors possible each harvest, without any constraints upon the components in the blend. This creates an exciting new buzz as each successive version of BobWine is released, and provides our consumers with an attractive, individualized wine each and every year.

Zinfandel

Widely known as California’s original red wine grape, Zinfandel has been heralded as a truly unique varietal in terms of its exotic, spiced flavor profile and bright fruitiness. As a long-time local favorite, with vineyard planting dating to the mid-1800’s on Paso Robles’ Westside, we have adopted this variety as a welcome addition to our Whalebone red wine portfolio.

Well acclimated to the hilly terrain and rocky soils of our area, Zinfandel develops wild flavor notes of spicebox and bramble-berry that are immensely attractive for early consumption. With our region’s cool nights prolonging the ripening period for this grape, we are able to bring in fruit with balanced acidity and ripe, vibrant flavors. Noted for a hint of rustic character, this wonderful variety is perfectly suited to Whalebone’s casual, country styling.

With an aim to preserve the vitality of fruit-driven flavors and aromatics in this wine, we age our Zinfandel for 18-20 months in mostly American oak, giving this distinctive wine a soft, caramelized note of complexity, and building the resulting wine to a long, round and spicy finish.

Ballena Blanca

You’ve enjoyed our Bob Wine blended red for years. Now, we’re excited to release the debut vintage of our premium white blend, Ballena Blanca. A blend of the Rhône varietals Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, this premiere white release is perfumed and vibrant, with essence of coconut and fruit cocktail on the nose. Mouth-filling peach, pear and pineapple flavors flow across the palate, as the wine shows with great length in a lemon-lime, dry, crisp finish. Great with Asian pork, spicy grilled tuna or fresh garlic shrimp.

Boneyard - Rhone Blend

Our debut vintage, the 2008 Whalebone Boneyard is a fascinating red blend all grown in hillside shale and limestone on Paso Robles’ cooler Westside.  Aged 4 years in barrel, this opaque wine displays deep color to the rim of the glass, an indication of exceptional ripeness.  Opening with aromas of toffee, kiwi and pipe tobacco, the concentration of this wine becomes immediately apparent.  Nectar-like in its viscous fruit richness, this mouth-filling blend exudes flavors of boysenberry, blueberry compote and Red Vines licorice. we know you’ll find 2008 Boneyard to be one of your favorite wines ever