Ecluse Wines Improv Review

Écluse wines hold up well to age — they’re super structured and intense when young, but transform gracefully (and slowly) over time.

Wine review by: Jessyca Frederick

Improv: front of bottle with wine in glass

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About this Wine

Wine: 2014 Improv
Blend: 35% Petit Verdot, 30% Merlot, 29% Petite Sirah, 6% Syrah
Region: Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Vineyard: Lock Vineyard
Cases produced: 425
Retail price: $39
I consumed it: May 2023
My source: Écluse Wines Tasting Room

The Back Label

ImprovBack Label

Discover More

From this winery: Ecluse Wines

Region: Paso Robles, Central Coast, California

Wine color/style: Red wine

Grape variety or blend: Red blend

Tasting notes: Black fruit, Smooth

Other characteristics: Aged, Small production

Improv: What I think

The Lock Vineyard is named for owners Steve and Pam Lock, and (in case you’re not a fluent French speaker), écluse means lock (like those on canals) in French.

For a while, we were wine club members at Écluse in Paso Robles, introduced to the winery, as we often are, by wine-loving friends. It’s a great place to go wine tasting if you like big, bold red wines. The tastings are done in the (a?) barrel room, and they often will use a glass thief to give you a taste of something in barrel while you’re there. Our decision to leave their club was driven by joining other wine clubs featuring big, bold red wines.

The red blend for Improv changes each year and the philosophy of this wine "is to make the very best wine from the very best fruit that the vineyard has given us."

This 2014, consumed in 2023, had a nose of graphite, blue fruit, and plum (presumably driven by the Merlot). It tasted stewed (not an unusual "tertiary aroma" for aged red wines), and blackcurrant was still strong. Minor notes of black olive, eucalyptus, and fennel. The tannins were smooth and well-integrated, and the wine had medium acidity.

Last updated: December 17, 2023

Notice: I hold no formal wine credentials. I am a wine geek who has consumed 1000+ of bottles from 100+ different wine clubs and 1000s more bottles that didn’t come from those wine clubs. I do not accept payment for wine reviews, and I do not accept payments to influence my opinions. I happily accept free wine (and I buy wine).

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