On February 28 I attended the Paso Robles Grand Tasting Tour at the Bookbindery in Culver City organized by The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. But, before you pull out your wine glasses to join me in your virtual tour, I had also signed up for a seated seminar led by three winemakers. And, lucky for us both, each had two wines to taste before I was to head into the walking tour to taste a couple of dozen more.
I know, sometimes you just want to reach through your computer screen to strangle me for the great job I have. Go ahead, try.
Darren Delmore, Tablas Creek Vineyard
Quote: “The thick skin helps prevent our grapes from getting sunburn, and a site with limestone, elevation and proximity to the ocean” is also beneficial.
A nose of brown butter and fresh cut lemon was followed by crisp acid, a grassy quality and pale pear in a mouth-coating viscosity.
2010 Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc
Aromas of hay, jasmine and honeysuckle, and then a lovely taste of white pear, sweet butter and balanced acidity.
Christian Tietje, Cypher Winery
Quote on winemaking: “We should have listened to the old Italians in the first place.”
On comparing rules in Paso to Europe: “Here we can take the shackles off.”
2010 Dante Dusi Zinfandel
Juicy dark blackberry and blueberry followed through from the nose to the glass along with cracked black pepper, and medium tannins.
I detected mint, black licorice, black fruit and spice rack on the nose, while the taste was all smoke, mature deep dark fruit and tannins.
Michael Mooney, Chateau Margene
Quote: “We were the thirty-second winery in Paso in 1997 and now a part of the newly formed pasoroblescab.com and organizing the Cab Collective at Windfall Farms this April.”
2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Hit with eucalyptus and mint on the nose, followed by blueberries, the taste was dry, with green peppercorns, tannins hit me on the back palate, and the finish was all dark fruit.
Lovely floral aromatics and a deep ruby color. The taste delivered a dark fruit compote with some acid on the finish.
Walk Around Tasting
Of the total list below, I’ve only noted those that I sampled and enjoyed. Due to my own time constraints, unfortunately I couldn’t go to every tasting table! (Note for wine 101ers: A GSM Blend is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.)
2009 Version Red (Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault)
2010 Viking Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
2010 Michael’s Estate Vineyard Zinfandel
2009 “Keeper” GSM Blend
Ancient Peaks Winery
2010 Renegade (Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot)
Cass Winery (Always a Favorite, and winemaker Ted Plemons was serving!)
2011 Rockin One (Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne)
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
2011 Viognier, Mill Road Vineyard
2011 Estate Chardonnay
2008 Cotes-du-Robles GSM Blend
2009 Zinfandel, Steinbeck & Wine-Bush Vineyard
2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Epoch Estate Wines
2010 Veracity GSM Blend
2010 Estate Blend (GSM)
L’Aventure Winery (Another favorite for Francophiles)
2010 Optimus (Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot)
2010 Côte à Côte (GSM Blend)
2010 Estate Cuvee (Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot)
2010 White (Roussanne, Grenache Blanc)
2010 Estate Zinfandel
2010 Black Saint Peter (Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Tannat, Cinsault)
2010 Euphoric La Vista Vineyard (Grenache, Syrah)
2010 Buxom La Vista Vineyard (Syrah, Grenache)
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Bench (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Tempranillo)
Los Angeles Participating Wineries
Adelaida Cellars ♦ Alta Colina Vineyard & Winery
Ancient Peaks Winery ♦ Bodegas Paso Robles ♦ Bon Niche Cellars
Caliza Winery ♦ Cass Winery ♦ Chateau Margene ♦ Clayhouse Wines
DAOU Vineyards ♦ Eberle Winery ♦ Epoch Estate Wines
Halter Ranch Vineyard ♦ Harmony Cellars
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines ♦ JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery
Kenneth Volk Vineyards ♦ L’Aventure Winery ♦ Le Vigne Winery
Lone Madrone ♦ Midnight Cellars ♦ Minassian-Young Vineyards
Nicora ♦ Opolo Vineyards ♦ Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery
Rangeland Wines ♦ Record Family Wines ♦ STANGER
Tablas Creek Vineyard ♦ Thacher Winery ♦ Treana and Hope Family Wines
Venteux Vineyards ♦ Victor Hugo Winery ♦ Vina Robles
Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards