Periodically, the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance takes its show on the road. I first attended this event a couple of years ago, and I was pleased to attend the event this year, which was held at Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles.
The timing of it couldn’t have been better, coinciding as it did with the recent cover story in the Wine Spectator about the success of the Rhone varietals in Paso Robles.
To me, Paso has always been about the Rhones and, of course, Zinfandel, and this event was a great showcase for both.
Highlights of the event for me were…
Ancient Peak Winery – winemaker Mike Sinor was not present this time, as he was at World of Pinot Noir, but his Oyster Ridge blend is always one of my favorites. The 2007 is a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Petite Sirah, 15% Merlot and 15% Petit Verdot.
Anglim Winery – I’ve enjoyed Steve and Steffanie’s wines for some time, and this time their 2007 Mourvedre was showing exceptionally well.
Caliza Winery – Caliza was highlight in the aforementioned Wine Spectator article, and deservedly so. Their 2007 Azimuth (a classic Rhone blend of 53% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 12%] and their 2007 Syrah were both excellent. I’m also a big fan of their Rosé, which I tasted at the winery several months ago.
Clavo – As always, Neil Roberts’ Petite Sirah  was a highlight for me. I was also very impressed with his white wine offerings, especially the Vermentino and Viognier, both from the 2009 vintage.
Clayhouse Wines – Another couple of Petite’s I really liked were the two being poured by Clayhouse, the 2007 Estate and the 2007 Show Pony. The Show Pony really developed an amazing richness from the grapes’ extended hang time on the vines.
Minassian-Young Vineyards – This family-owned winery prices it products at value-levels, but don’t let that fool you. The 2007 GSMV (58% Mourvedre, 23% Grenache, 16% Syrah and 3% Viognier) as well as their 2009 Estate Zinfandel and 2008 Black Saint Peter (45% Zinfandel, 17% Petite Sirah, 16% Tannat, 11% Cinsault, 6% Carignan and 3% Mourvedre) were all excellent. And, yes I know the percentages on the Black St. Peter don’t add up to 100%, but that’s what’s in the program.
Silver Horse Winery – I’ve heard good things about this winery, but I have never had their wines. Well, I think I’ve missed a lot. I really enjoyed all the wines being poured, which included 2008 TOMORI Estate Blend (60% Syrah, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon), 2008 The Main Thing (45% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Petite Sirah), 2008 Estate Malbec, 2008 Estate Petit Verdot and 2008 Pleasant Valley Petite Sirah.
Venteux Vineyards – I’ve enjoyed many wines from this winery over the years, and this time I really liked the 2007 Estate Syrah and 2007 Petite Syrah.
An added bonus to the event was the presence of Rex Pickett, author of Sideways and its new sequel Vertical. It was interesting to hear his explanation about why Miles was not quite as reprehensible a character in the book as he was in the movie.
Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.