Wine of the week: Postmark, 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
Katie Povah said a professor served as the compass that guided her to a life working in the vines.
“He encouraged me to work harvest before I started taking winemaking classes,” said the winemaker of Postmark in Paso Robles. “He told me I would know whether I wanted to work in this industry by the end of the first week, and he was completely right. You either love the chaos and intensity of harvest, or you go find another career.”
Povah crafted our wine of the week winner — the Postmark, 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, 14.5%, $30. It’s a cab with generous fruit — black cherry and black raspberry — riding on crisp acid. Balanced and layered, with notes of anise and cracked black pepper in the mix, this cabernet over-delivers.
Growing up in Sonoma County, Povah said, piqued her interest in the world of wine.
“My family is Italian and while my parents weren’t in the industry, wine was a big part of our family culture,” Povah said. “It was part of the enjoyment of a delicious meal and connecting with friends and family.”
This year will be the winemaker’s 19th harvest. Povah, 40, graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2006 with a degree in wine and viticulture and a concentration in enology. Today her title is Postmark winemaker and Central Coast winemaker for Decoy.
“When I went to college at Cal Poly and took my first viticulture class, everything just clicked into place,” Povah said. “I loved being out in the vineyard and creating something that brings people together.”
Her personality, the winemaker said, makes her well-suited to shepherding grapes into the bottle, despite the caprice of Mother Nature.
“I’m analytical by nature and have a pretty easygoing disposition, which serves me well as a winemaker,” she said. “I love the blend of art and science and being humbled by nature every single vintage. We are constantly learning and adapting, and I love that.”
Crafting the best cabernet, Povah said, requires a deep understanding of geography.
“I want our cabernet to have a sense of place, so I’m determined to find the most unique and expressive vineyards in Paso Robles,” she said. “And I’m intent on picking at optimal ripeness to ensure those flavors carry through to the wine. I don’t want to have to overly manipulate the wine, so picking at optimal ripeness for the site is really the foundation, and we build additional layers for flavor with oak and aging.”
Povah has made wine for nearly two decades now in Paso Robles. The region showcases cabernet sauvignon beautifully, she said.
“With elevations ranging from 700 to 2,200 feet, diurnal temperature swings of up to 50 degrees, numerous soil types and 11 fascinating sub-appellations, Paso Robles is the source for some of the state’s most impressive, and impressively affordable, cabernet sauvignons,” she said.
You can reach Wine Writer Peg Melnik at 707-521-5310 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @pegmelnik.