Driving on Creston Road through Creston we caught a glimpse of a sign as we flew past that said B&E Vineyard. It was unanimous by all to turn around and check out this winery that none of us were familiar with. Driving up to the tasting room you can see their beautiful vineyards as you approach what looks like a saloon from the wild west. Walking into this quaint tasting room you will see antique memorabilia that quickly transports you into an era long gone. The friendly nature of the old days are reinforced with a greeting from Patti Bello who, with her husband Jerry Bello, own and operate B&E Vineyard. To complete our arrival we were met by Zeke, the resident dog greeter, and his wagging tail.
It is a small family run winery where they do everything from working the vineyards, making the wines, and operate the tasting room. In the early years they sourced their grapes to other wineries but according to their website, “In 1994 we started making our own wine but did not label any for sale until 2002. We started in 2002 with small lots and have been increasing our production since then.” Many of their wines have won awards and have been rated from 90 to 91 points by judges. The primary varietals that they produce are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. I enjoyed all of the wines that Patti poured for us on our visit but my biggest thrill was tasting their absolutely gorgeous Merlots. This is a varietal that has received poor recognition since the Hollywood movie “Sideways” when Miles said, ” No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any @#$%&! Merlot!” This is a shame as Merlot can be used in so many ways. The Grand Cru Bordeaux Petrus is almost 100% Merlot. I would not turn down even a small taste of this wine. Often used in blending, it can soften rough edges or bring out some fruit profiles that are missing in a wine.
Jerry and Patti are definitely going in a direction with their wines that I loved. It is no secret that I am a huge Meritage addict. The 2010 Red Rhythm is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. Absolutely gorgeous wine with its soft fruit flavors of the Merlot that is built on a solid Cabernet Sauvignon body. The tannins and acidity are structured and well integrated in this work of art. To really get an appreciation of B&E Vineyards Merlots, you need to try their 2008 and 2009. Each has its own uniqueness in flavor profile and acid structure but they are both beautiful wines.
They have a small section of their vineyard where they grow other reds for blending. One of these grapes is Syrah. As I venture through different Paso wineries I am finding that the terroir of this region produces spectacular Syrahs. B&E has two wines that use Syrah that are definitely worth mentioning. The 2009 Red Rhythm that contains 62% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Syrah. This wine was beautiful offering fantastic flavor and balance that one would expect from a well made blend. Now for the grand finale…they created a wine called Que Sera which is an absolutely gorgeous port type wine made from Syrah grapes. So intense and full of beautiful flavors that you will not leave without at least one bottle once you taste it.
As mentioned in my other articles on my recent trip to Paso, B&E follows suit with that warm, friendly hospitable environment that seems infectious to Paso Robles wineries. Even Zeke, Patti’s dog, provides lots of attention to the guests of B&E. The day we were there was on the 4th of July weekend and Patti said that it was very slow but still took pride in showing us the beauty of their artistic wines and opened new ones if she felt the wine did not offer the best showing. This practice of checking wines that sometimes are opened for one or two days is rare as it cuts into profits if they replace bottles for tastings. This is a sign of a professionally operated tasting room. Looking at the awards and ratings, it shows that they are very serious about their wines. It is evident she definitely wants you, the guest, to see the best that their winery has to offer. You must visit B&E Vineyards. It is a real treat.