My wife had some carry over vacation from last year that she needed to use up so we decided to head back to Paso Robles for a couple of days.
Scanning our tasting notes from 2008 there was a predominance of zinfandel and syrah in the tasting rooms. Fast forward to 2013 and we are tasting almost exclusively Rhone blends (reds and whites). We didn’t have one non-blended zin until the middle of the 2nd day. It’s amazing the difference in five short years.
Last time out we stayed downtown and mainly visited the wineries on 46W, Adelaida Rd and the east side of 101. This time we stayed in a fantastic B&B due west of downtown Paso on Peachy Canyon Road with stunning views overlooking Epoch’s Paderewski vineyards. Peachy Canyon Rd is a very hilly, curvy road. It was interesting to see a different part of the area and get a better feel for the lay of the land.
We love traveling to wine country in the off season when there’s a lot less traffic both on the roads and in the wineries. We don’t discriminate between the larger volume wineries and the boutiques, trying to get in a fair representation of all shapes and sizes.
Our normal strategy is to split a tasting and then award the best wine(s) a one way ticket home with us back to the east coast.
Day one (Peachy Canyon Rd, Adelaida Rd circuit):
Tablas Creek (purchased Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc and Mourvedre)
Kiamie (Kiamie Kuvee and R’Own Blend Red)
Daou (Grenache Blanc)
Adelaida (didn’t make a purchase since we are club members and are going to add a couple of extras to our next shipment)
La Cuvier (L’enfant du Pape)
Day two (out west and south):
Carmody McKnight (NV Carmody McKnight Cuvée/Cab Franc and Petite Sirah)
Denner Winery (Mother of Exiles)
Lone Madrone (Points West White and Enigma)
Kenneth Volk (Aglianico Pomar Junction Vineyard)
Paso Port (Touriga Nacional Brandi Glenrose Vineyard and Albariño Vinho Verde)
Venteux (Syrah Tache le Verre Alisos Canyon)
Day three (Los Olivos)
Andrew Murray Vineyards (tasted but didn’t purchase)
Los Olivos Tasting Room (Center of Effort Pinot Noir)
Longoria Wines (tasted but didn’t purchase)
Kaena (Grenache Tierra Alta Vineyard)
Dragonette (tasted but didn’t purchase)
Blair Fox Winery (Viognier Paradise Road Vineyard)
Day Four (Mid-west)
Windward (Monopole Pinot Noir)
Epoch (tasted but didn’t purchase)
Jack Creek (Pinot Noir Estate Kruse Vineyards)
Peachy Canyon (tasted but didn’t purchase)
Terry Hoage (Syrah The Hedge)
Anglim (Viognier Bien Nacido Vineyard)
Ascuncion Ridge (Estate Pinot Noir 2008)
Calcareous (tasted but didn’t purchase)
The highlights of this trip had to be:
Tablas Creek and their highly informative and very friendly tasting room staff. They are making a lot of fantastic Rhone blends and even though they are a large producer we were warmly welcomed and had a great tasting experience.
Adelaida’s “The Green Room” reserve tasting. This started with a barrel tasting of their Picpoul and Mourvedre and then proceeded on to a private tasting room that was already set up with an ’03 Pinot Noir, ‘07 Syrah and an ’05 Cabernet Sauvignon. Along with these reserve library wines we each had a plate of assorted cheeses, olives, charcuterie and fresh baked bread. Our host, Chuck, was very friendly and highly knowledgeable. This tasting was by appointment and cost a couple of bucks but was well worth every penny.
Fun tasting at Tolo and Kiamie. Both are small production wineries with tasting rooms right next to each other. Had a great chat with the Tolo winemaker and a really neat chocolate pairing with the Kiamie wines.
The views from Daou. This winery sits on the highest peak in the county.
The pinots at Windward. We were under the impression that Paso was too hot for pinot but we discovered that there are some microclimates that are very suitable for this grape. Windward winery is a small producer (~5000 cases/year) that only makes four Burgundian style pinots all of which are fantastic.
We covered a lot of ground and visited a lot of wineries in four days and have nothing but great things to say about every place we went and everyone we met.
Paso Robles Wine Adventure, January 2013
- Reply by amour, Feb 2.
Now, that is what I call Great Wine Reporting, VINOVINO!
Thanks for sharing!
We are fortunate to have you on Snooth!
I have recently been reminded of how good the wines of Pasco Robles are!
- Reply by EMark, Feb 2.
Very nice, VV. You've given me some great ideas for my next trip up there.
Also, the pics are great.
Thank you very much.
- Reply by vin0vin0, Feb 2.
The Vino Vino wife here, for those who care, the chocolate-wine pairing was at Tolo,
- Reply by JonDerry, Feb 2.
Thanks for the report VV, sounds like you guys had a great time. Paso's great for covering a lot of ground, but you did great and four days is a lot. Last time I was there I too came back with "The Hedge" Syrah from Terry Hoage though I wonder if it still suits my palate. Out of curiosity, what vintage did you buy, and how much was it?
- Reply by vin0vin0, Feb 3.
The Terry Hoage "The Hedge" we purchased is a 2010 and ran $48 at the winery ($43.20 for wine club members). Not sure what you like in your Syrah but in general we found the syrah this time around much less jammy, less earthy/smokey, more of the brighter red fruit with upfront acidity.
- Reply by amour, Feb 4.
By the way, I just read that Peachy Canyon has great estate zins!
- Reply by vin0vin0, Feb 4.
Hi there Amour. I kind of hesitate to say this just because wine is such a personal thing, but we were not that impressed with the offerings at Peachy Canyon. In general, they seemed a bit flat and not very big or complex. I believe we tried a couple of 2010 blends, a Petit Verdot, a Petite Sirah and their 2010 Westside Zin. There's a possibility that their other zins (they have six altogether) are better.
- Reply by JonDerry, Feb 4.
Agreed on Peachy Canyon, serviceable stuff, but not exactly "fine wine" by any stretch.
Thanks for the info on Terry Hoage V.V.