Wine & Travel

Snooth User: VegasOenophile

Paso Robles Labor Day Weekend Recap

Posted by VegasOenophile, Sep 9, 2012.

I am not super familiar with Paso Robles and was even a bit apprehensive to go thinking all their wines were the big, over-extracted high alcohol fruit bombs I have had at times before.  A couple friends and I went for the weekend, staying in San Luis Obispo and want to Paso one day and Santa Maria/LosOlivos the second. 

On day one, we got there in the afternoon and decided to hit Paso before going to SLO to check in.  I had originally vetoed Tobin James for the reasons above, but it was the first big winery we saw on our way in on the 46, so we went in.  Very fun facility with a great outdoor area. 

Photos of the entire trip here

At Tobin James, we tasted a ton of wines!  Links below to each wine we tasted.  I reviewed them all.  Whew!

2009 Sauv Blanc     2010 Chard     2010 JGR Chard     2011 Rosé     2009 Chateau Le Cacheflo

2009 Primo     2009 Merlot     2009 Zinfandel Ballistic     2009 Syrah     2008 Petite Sirah

2009 Fat Boy     2009 Primitivo     2009 James Gang Zin     2009 Dusi VY Zin    

 2009 Blue Moon Reserve Zin     2007 James Gang Reserve Cab     2009 5     2008 Meritage

2008 Schist     2008 Blue Moon Reserve Cab

Next, nearly across the street, is Eberle.  Great place with cave tours regularly for free and free tasting.  Also, very good wines.  Here, we enjoyed the

2010 Estate Chard     2010 Mill Road VY Viognier     2010 Cotes du Robles Blanc    

2011 Syrah Rosé     Full Boar Red Blend     2009 Sangiovese     2009 Barbera    

2008 Cotes du Robles     2009 Zin     2008 Up Shiraz     2010 Syrah Steinbeck VY     

2008 Cab/Syrah     2007 Estate Cab     2006 Barbera     2008 CoCaVin      2007 Love and Kisses

2007 Estate Reserve Cab     2010 Muscat Canelli     2007 Port

Our first full day the next morning started at another must-visit of Paso, Turley.  They open earlier than most, at 9 AM.  This is Zinfandel!

2011 White Zinfandel

2005 Pesenti VY     2007 Grist VY     2010 Dusi VY     2009 Ueberroth VY     2009 Hayne VY

2006 Petit Sirah Hayne VY

Then it was on to our "planned/recommended" locations.  They started with Villa Creek.  Great Rhone varietals.  We tasted the

2010 Garnacha     2010 Willow Creek Cuvée     2009 Mas De Maha     2009 Damas Noir

Then on to Tablas Creek.  Great Rhone blends and they even sell varietal vines of oddball Rhone grapes they brought in from Beaucastel in CDP.  It concerned me a bit that our pourer didn't check the wines before pouring, as the Roussanne was corked.  But she opened a new one once I pointed it out.  We enjoyed tasting their

2010 Roussanne     2010 Antithesis     2009 Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc    

2010 Cotes de Tablas Blanc     2011 Patelin de Tablas Blanc     2010 Cotes de Tablas

2010 Mourvedre     2009 Esprit de Beaucastel     2010 Counoise

Then, my friend "Had" to see Justin, so we ventured up there.  The place is nice with beautiful gardens and the Just-Inn looks like a fun quaint place to stay and the food from the restaurant smelled great.  My only disappointment was that much of the wines in the flight were wines you can get anywhere and many of which we had before.  The staff was attentive though.  Here we tasted

2011 Sauv Blanc     2010 Chard Reserve     2010 Cab     2010 Right Angle     2010 Syrah

2009 Isosceles

Then, off to L'Aventure.  Another great stop if you like Rhone varietals done in Paso style with a French sensibility.

2011 Estate Rosé     2010 Optimus     2009 Plus 16     2009 Cab     2008 Estate Cuvée

2010 Cote a Cote

Cypher (formerly Four Vines) was another must-see for a friend and we made it back here after missing it before by getting "lost" heading the wrong way.  I highly recommend this place for a fun, funky style, lack of pretension and very high quality and tasty wines.  Here we tasted

2011 Pistil Rosé     2011 Grenache Blanc     2010 Chard Los Alamos VY    

2009 Freakshow Peasant GSM     2009 Freakshow Anarchy ZMS    

2009 Freakshow Heretic Petite Sirah     2009 Freakshow Loco Tempranillo    

2009 Freakshow Phoenix Syrah     2010 Freakshow ZinBitch     2009 Cypher Kiler Canyon VY

Next, was Bella Luna.  This is a great place, so go see Sherman in the tasting room and enjoy some great wines! 

2010 Estate Sangiovese     2008 Tempestuous Tempranillo     2009 Lot One Barbera

2008 Estate Riserva "Super Tuscan"     2010 Fighter Pilot Red Zinfandel

We finished up at Wild Horse.  After some bold wines, some Pinot Noir was welcome as the day was ending.  Some very tatsy wines here as well.

2011 Malvasia Bianca     2011 Verdelho     2011 Viognier     2010 Unbridled Chardonnay

2010 Blaufrankisch     2009 Unbridled Zinfandel     2009 Unbridled Syrah     2009 Unbridled Malbec

2009 Unbridled Merlot     2009 Unbridled Cabernet     2006 Cabernet    

2009 Unbridled Pinot Noir Righetti VY     2010 Unbridled Pinot Noir

2009 Unbridled Pinot Noir Bien Nacido VY     2009 Cheval Sauvage Pinot Noir

By this point, it was 5 PM and we needed food.  I highly recommend Eureka Burger in San Luis Obispo! 

The next morning we were off to Santa Maria and Solvang, Los Olivos, etc.  Separate forum post for that one.  Many great wines, and there is not one of these wineries I wouldn't recommend you visiting!


Reply by EMark, Sep 9, 2012.

Do I understand this correctly LVO?  You tasted over 100 wines just on the first day? 

Well done.  It clear to me, though, why those burgers tasted so good in the evening.

Thank you for the report.  It makes me want to go up there. 

I'm looking forward to your next report.


Reply by VegasOenophile, Sep 9, 2012.

Yes, tasted all those wines.  Tobin James and Eberle half day in the afternoon.  Everything else was in one day.  Spitting is your friend!

Reply by EMark, Sep 9, 2012.

I agree with the spitting approach, but in my case, my mouth would had still felt a bit abused.  I really do appreciate the good effort put out by dedicated individuals to continue the research that I freely steal from. ;-)

Reply by napagirl68, Sep 9, 2012.

Nice write up!

I need to do a long weekend in Paso, since I tend to love Rhones from that area.  My fav so far is Anglim winery, where I like every wine I have tasted.

I was at Eberle last Easter, as they were one of only a small few open that day.  Beautiful scenery and nice deck.  I wasn't too impressed with their wines, but did like the Cotes du Robles Blanc.

I  highly recommend Anglim winery in Downtown Paso. I discovered them at SF Rhone Rangers a few years ago, and of all the wines at that event, I kept returning to Anglim's table.  I haven't been to the tasting room yet, but I have ordered wine from them directly, and when lucky, I have found it in some wine shops.  Anglim made my fav Mourvedre to date.  As you can see below, it is sold out, but I found some at the Half Moon Bay Wine/Cheese shop.  I was totally jazzed and bought what they had:

Mourvèdre Hastings Ranch Vineyard, Paso Robles 2007

Sold Out

Spicy white pepper framed by earthy dark berries, spice and smooth tannin. Retail 34.00

Food Pairings: seared ahi, beef short ribs, lamb shank, truffle chevre

Reply by lingprof, Sep 16, 2012.

Oh, you are making me want to go back to Paso so much!!!  A lot of these are the same wineries I went to but some are new.  Great choices and great report.  Thank you VO!!!!

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