The last time Karen and I visited ONX it was at the winery/vineyard in Templeton, just a short distance from Turley Wine Cellars. I took away a few cool things from that visit.
The vineyard tour is cool. You think you might be in a residential area, and suddenly there’s a vineyard – Templeton is funny that way. Riding around on a four-wheel mule with various stops along the way, with wine included at each stop, is pretty cool too.
Associate Winemaker Jeffrey Strekas is also cool. One half of the “gun show” winemaking team along with Winemaker Brian Brown, Jeffrey’s winemaking skills along with his wry sense of humor add up to a great wine tasting experience.
Finally, ONX’s wines are very cool. Known for their “untraditional” blends, they taste familiar and unfamiliar to me at the same time — always high quality and deliciously fruit forward.
Now that the winery has moved to Tin City and has opened a real tasting room, one might be tempted not to check out the vineyard tour. I urge you not to pass that up, as it is a lot of fun and very informative.
That being said, our last visit to ONX was to visit Jeffrey Strekas at the new winery and tasting room, which is as stylish as the wines.
In talking with Jeffrey, we learned that the new winery had enabled them to increase their capacity to about 3,500 cases annually, which is really helpful to them since not only are their own wines very popular but they also now make wine for other wineries. [I’m not sure I’m allowed to name any.]
A case in point is their 2016 Indie, a crazy good rose of Tempranillo that is also a crazy steal at just $19 per bottle. It is no wonder they sell all they make of this wine and production of this alone was 852 cases.
Another really delicious wine is their 2015 L’autre Femme, an unusual [of course] blend of Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc is readily apparent on the nose with the richness of the Viognier smoothing out the acidity.
I also really liked the 2016 Field Day blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Grenache Blanc.
This is where things got a little hazy.
Jeffrey ominously muttered “When you come to ONX, there has to be a reckoning.”
My notes are incomplete, but I did buy…
2013 Crux [Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouschet]
2014 Black Orchid [100% Petite Sirah – one of the few single varietals made by ONX]
2014 Caliber [Cabernet Sauvigon, Malbec]
2014 Level 22 [Petite Sirah, Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache]
2014 Mad Crush [Grenache, Tempranillo, Malbec, Mourvedre, Zinfandel]
Oh, now I get it. Jeffrey said “When you come to ONX, there has to be a Reckoning.”
For me, Reckoning has always been ONX’s flagship wine. Jeffrey poured us a taste of the not-yet-released 2014 – a blend of Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Petite Sirah. I highly recommend this wine as a one-bottle showcase of what Paso Robles can do. I did have a fairly technical tasting note on this one, which is unusual for me. I did the usual smell, swirl, smell again and then taste. Unbidden from my lips came forth perhaps the most profound comment I have ever made about a wine…
tin city tasting room
open daily 10:00am – 4:00pm
vineyard tours available by appointment
friday + saturday 10:00am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, + 3:00pm
tour requests for thursday + sunday + monday accommodated when possible.
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.