Wine & Travel

Snooth User: wanemardo

Paso Robles Zinfandel Wineries

Posted by wanemardo, Feb 11, 2010.

I will be in the Paso Robles area this summer, and am looking for recommendations of Zin wineries to visit. Italian style is good as I am a Primitivo fan (drank a LOT while living in the Puglia region).
Thanks in advance...


Reply by johnmmoore, Feb 12, 2010.

It's been a few years and my memory may be fuzzy, but I remember really liking a Zin at a little tasting room next door to Dark Star called Brian Benson Cellars. Brian is the son of Dark Star's winemaker Norm Benson. I seem to remember tasting some very nice pepper in his Zin which was a nice change from the jammy Zins that are all too common.

Reply by chadrich, Feb 12, 2010.

3 come to mind for me:

I think the reigning king (or queen) of Paso zins has to be Turley. Not everyone loves their style (I do), but I don't think you can say you've explored Paso zins without including them.

Four Vines also produces several zins and blends that include zin. The Biker is one that usually gets good reviews and is reasonably priced. I understand their tasting room is a lot of fun also.

We especially enjoyed the zin and the entire tasting room experience at Adelaida.

Reply by Brad Borneaux, Feb 12, 2010.

Another nod for Turley.

Reply by Brad Borneaux, Feb 12, 2010.

Just grabbed the tasting notes from my September trip to Paso. Turley had several Zins worth trying. Didn't try too many Zin's @ wineries, but here's those that I did (most only had 1 Zin offering)

- Tobin James: $18, 2007 Zin. My extensive notes read: "Boozy, not much else going on here". They had some other economical red's that were actually decent, so don't let me decide for you!

- Pear Valley: $20, 2006 Zin. Notes "Big, Bold & Jammy... a finish that won't stop". Most of their red's here were great.

- Four Vines: Should have ~5 or so straight-up Zin's, and some blend's. Oddly enough I left here with a $40 bottle of 2007 "CYPHER". A blend of NINE varietals (mostly Portuguese) in one bottle! You'd think it'd be messy... but it was of the most unique red's I've tasted.

- EOS: One of the large operations in Paso (needed to visit these, as I'm from Canada and wanted to sample wine's I could actually purchase back home). Their 2007 Zin @ $18cad was my favorite here. Tasting Notes read: "Flavors of plum, raspberry and black cherry lead to a finish with subtle hints of oak, dry earth, white pepper and sage".

- Castoro Cellars: Had a few Zin's here. Liked their 2006 "Infusion" Zinfandel @ $22 ... tasting notes read "Over the top fruit attack up front, velvety smooth finish... yummy". Haha. I think that just generally describes a lot of Zin's, but I can tell the quality of my notes went down hill that day (hired a driver).

- Peachy Canyon: Had a bunch of Zin's on their list, but it was far too busy... only stayed to try other varietals. Sadly didn't like anything, especially since we can buy their wine's up north here.

I went on a quest to find some Petite Syrah's in Paso which from previous experienes were great, and came back loving other varietals from the area. Being that there are a lot of Rhone varietals grown in the area... Venteux and Villa Creek's 100% grenache offerings were really awesome and not to be missed. Prior to those Grenache's.. I had only tried thin, light Grenaches. These were medium bodied and full of chocolate, cherries & spice with smooth round mouth feels.

I'd reccommend visiting - there you can sort through wineries BY VARIETAL! This will help plan your tour immensely!

Here was my Paso Robles trip thread:

(@ EOS Estate Winery)

(A view of Morro Rock from the rolling hills of Paso along West 46 HWY)

Reply by Carly Wray, Feb 12, 2010.

On the Zin front, I can offer another vote for Pear Valley and Four Vines - they run a fun, off-beat tasting room. They're particularly lively (irreverent) during harvest events.

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