It was Saturday afternoon, and we were wrapping up our visit to Paso Robles. The previous day, we had spent much of the afternoon with Neil Roberts of Clavo Cellars,
tasting through the wines he had in barrel. It was now time for our last stop of the weekend, visiting the Clavo tasting room in Templeton, which is just south of Paso Robles, to taste through the current releases that Neil was offering.
When we got there, Neil was nowhere to be seen. Fortunately, he was in the back, and came out to greet us and, with the help of his assistant, tasted us through his current lineup.
Also fortunately, I saved this sheet from the tasting room. These were the wines listed on it:
2009 Grenache Blanc
2007 Propietary Blend [a Bordeaux-style blend]
2008 Petite Sirah
2007 Dessert Wine [Zinfandel]
Neil also brought out some 2007 vintages of the Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.
They do a very cool thing in the Clavo tasting room. I love drinking wine all by itself as well as with meals. It is good to be reminded how wine complements food when the proper pairings are taken into account. For example, the Viognier was paired with wasabi beans, the Albarino with yogurt-covered raisins, and the Vermentino with lemon shortbread.
As I’ve mentioned, I am really impressed with Neil’s white wines, some of the best in Paso, I think. The Viognier is especially good; I enjoy Viognier, but it seems that a lot of them out there have a touch of residual sugar. Not this one! I also highly recommend the Vermentino. Of the reds, the Petite is always a favorite of mine. I also thought the 2007 Zinfandel was outstanding.
I want to thank Neil for being such a gracious host and being so generous with both his time and his wine. I’m pretty sure all of us signed up for his wine club. This was a great way to finish up our trip to Paso.
I’d also like to thank our friends for allowing me to drag them around to all these appointments: Donna and Roger Green, Gloria and Larry Stahly, Carey Babcock and Mike Ortiz. And of course, thank you to my wonderful wife Karen for putting up with all of this.
Finally, you probably noticed a lack of photographs in this series. Our good friend Robert “Shipwreck Bob” Schwemmer was unable to accompany us this time around. He is a photographer extraordinaire as well as a true gentleman. Rather than trying to fill in for his absence, I just decided to pass on including pics this time. We missed you Bobby!
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. “It is common practice for wine industry workers, wine writers and winery club members [and members of their party] to receive complimentary tastings and discounted purchases. Unless it is otherwise noted, it should be presumed that this is the case.”