Midnight Cellars Winery was founded by the Hartenberger family in May 1995. It was a vacation the family shared in Northern California wine country that inspired the Hartenberger’s to venture into the wine business. The family members all sold their Chicago homes and journeyed to Paso Robles where they started their Midnight Cellars Vineyards vision. Midnight Cellars is home to 28 planted acres in Paso growing quality, low-yield, sustainably farmed Bordeaux grapes as well as Zinfandel and Chardonnay according to our Midnight Cellars wine reviews. However of all the Midnight Cellars wines produced the most heralded by consumers and critics alike are their big Merlots and their “Paso Roblan” blends. With a production of approximately 7,000 cases annually, the 160 acre Midnight Cellars ranch in the western hills of Paso is home to three generations of Hartenbergers. To learn more about these wines be sure to check out our Midnight Cellars wine ratings below.
Out of the bottle, the Nocturne shows stemmy cinnamon flavors. After a few minutes, though, expect a sumptuous sour-cherry, raspberry and toast bouquet. More of the same bright red fruit surfaces on the palate, where they are met with menthol and vanilla-cream flavors. Our tasters were especially keen on the minerally, almost chewy mouthfeel and finish. Drink…
This impressive Paso Robles Bordeaux blend is a plush, opulent wine. The fruit is ripe and sweet, the tannins fine, and it has balance and harmony. The glycerine in this unctuous wine oozes down the sides of the glass. Firmer tannins and higher acidity would make it more “serious,” but it’s a pleasure-fest as it is.
Good color, tight, firm fruit, with some heft to it. There’s cassis as well as cherry, and the wine has the weight of a Sonoma Zin, with good acids to give it lift. This is the first estate bottling from this exciting new winery. Unfortunately, just 28 cases made.
This is Midnight’s most expensive red, a blend of all five Bordeaux reds. Like its other ’04 reds, it shows great poise and balance, with very ripe fruit in equilibrium with strong tannins, new oak and just-so acidity. The result is just fine. Midnight has quietly been working at its reds for years, and it shows.
It’s easy to imagine drinking this Cab at one of Paso’s good restaurants, on a summer evening outside, accompanied by a grilled steak. This is quite tannic, but richly dry and succulent in black currant flavors. It really defines Paso Robles Cab.
Imagine a chocolate-covered cherry. Now take it a couple of steps further: Add a hint of mint and a hit of alcohol. If this sounds good to you, you’ll likely love this wine. It really is almost liquid candy for adults.
Everything seemingly went right for this wine: The vintage yielded ripe grapes that produced full, deeply attractive blackberry flavors with a sunny sweetness. There’s a nice kiss of toasty oak; the wine is balanced and harmonious. It’s a little soft and low in acidity.
Okay, so they only made 125 cases—but don’t say we didn’t warn you. This Zin’s nose balances powdered sugar, ripe mixed berries and hickory and cedar; you’ll encounter loads of chalk and dust over oak and tart red plum on the palate. Medium-weight, it closes with more tart red-berry fruit and powder. —D.M.