Wine & Travel

Snooth User: benska

Tasting in Paso Robles

Posted by benska, May 14, 2008.

Any recommendations on wineries to check out??

Replies

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Reply by Philip James, May 15, 2008.

I've never been to these places, so cant comment on the tasting room experience, but I love the Ridge Vineyards wines and would try to stop by L'Aventure and J. Lohr as well.

Just to put in context how much I love Ridge Vineyards wines, take a look at my two reviews for them:
http://www.snooth.com/my-wines/Phil...

If you are a fan of blockbuster fruit driven wines, you need to go see them.

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Reply by benska, May 15, 2008.

I am definitely planning on stopping by Ridge.. haven't had the opportunity to try their wines out yet.. but that will change soon! Thanks for the recommendations!

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Reply by Philip James, May 15, 2008.

Benska - it got my vote for best red under $20: http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/ri...

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Reply by oceank8, May 15, 2008.

I travel to this area at least twice a year. I have been in most of the tasting rooms and can help you out if you say what you are looking for. I tend to prefer the west 46 side. Castoro Cellars is always a favorite, they have a ton of wines and are all good and reasonably priced. Peachy Canyon is across the street and pretty good as well. If you get a chance to go south at all, I am currently loving the Sta. RIta Hills region as well. Again, if you are looking for something specific, let me know and I will try to help you out.

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Reply by John Andrews, May 22, 2008.

@benska ... looking forward to the trip report and tasting reviews! ;-)

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Reply by benska, May 29, 2008.

Ok, so I thought it would be nice to follow up with a little review of my trip up to Paso Robles. There are a ton of wineries up there, so we decided to take the 46 west route, exploring the various smaller, boutique wineries rather than the larger ones further up the road on the 46 east. Our fist stop was Summerwood, which had a large selection of tasting choices, and I believe we got to choose 6. The wines were alright, but not all that impressive, especially for their prices. We left without buying. Almost across the street is Peachy Canyon. They have a huuuge selection of zins, and were all from the '06 vintage. They were alright, but nothing special. When we were almost done tasting, they brought out a sheet declaring that all the '05 vintage wines were 25% off. I asked if they had any open for tasting, and luckily they did, because the few '05 zins we tried were leagues better than the '06 ones. We then drove down on 46 west, and turned on vineyard, and headed all the way down the canyon until we reached Justin winery. The Isosceles wine was the best, and most complex wine of the day... it found the power-up mushroom, if you know what im saying. We didnt feel like pouring out 65 bucks for a bottle so we got a mid-20 dollar bottle of Syrah instead, which was very nice too. We also hit up Whale Bone - Great Family that runs this place, and we got to meet Bob, whom "Bob Wine" is named after. Also hit up a small place called Tolo, which has some unique varieties, all aged much longer than most places.. picked up a 2001 Asini, which is a Sangio/Zin Blend, and seriously delicious. It was a pretty good price too, lower 20's I believe. Opolo had some really nice wines as well.. the zin we picked up from there is a whopping 16.5 percent alcohol content! This reminds me... if you are tasting up there, be very careful with your driving, as all the wines in that region have a higher than normal alcohol content. Overall, I'd say most of the wines in Paso are very nice, but are not up to par with those you can find in Santa Barbara County.. but the region is extremely beautiful and worth checking out. My girlfriend is the one who takes all the detailed wine notes, so I apologize for not going into detail on the specific wines we tried, but I hope this helps anyone choosing to check out Paso, and am around for any questions about the trip.

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Reply by benska, May 29, 2008.

Also Phillip, just Fyi, Ridge doesn't seem to have a tasting room in Paso.. I think they are up in Sonoma, but get their zin grapes from Paso. I still have to pick up a bottle and let you know my thoughts.

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Reply by oceank8, May 29, 2008.

Sounds like fun. I have been to all the wineries you mention and agree that they are not consistent, some years are great, some not as great. Justin is usually good but, as you mention, quite expensive. We like their port which is only $20 for a full bottle. You have made me excited for my next trip up that way!

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Reply by Philip James, May 29, 2008.

@benska - yes, make sure you try ridge, even if you didnt see the tasting room, i think its an excellent super fruity wine

and if you have any cool snaps, you can put them in the thread now, like this nice Paso Robles pic:

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Reply by John Andrews, May 29, 2008.

Ridge has two locations, one in Lyton Springs (Geyserville area which is north of Healdsburg, which is north of Santa Rosa, which is North of the town of Sonoma - forgot note everyone knows the areas out here very well) and one in Cupertino (Santa Cruz mountains and the same city that Apple has it's headquarters).

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Reply by benska, Jun 2, 2008.

I picked up a bottle of Ridge '05 Dusi Ranch Zinfandel... will report after I try it out... anyone try this one, and this vintage?

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Reply by benska, Jun 2, 2008.




This one!

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Reply by Philip James, Jun 2, 2008.

Hmm, closest I've had is:



Zin is the main component of the one i had, so how different can they be?

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Reply by John Andrews, Jun 3, 2008.

LOL ... they can be extremely different. Ridge, I would say, is the pioneer of blending with Zin. In many of their zins they blend in petite syrah.

That said, it seems the Ridge Paso Zin is 100% Zin and the Three Valleys is a blend (80% ZINFANDEL, 10% PETITE SIRAH, 5% CARIGNANE, 5% GRENACHE).

When I taste through the Ridge Zins the ones with Peitie Syrah have more tannin and structure. The higher content zins have a lot more fruity jam flavors.

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Reply by benska, Jun 3, 2008.

The Dusi Ranch one I purchased is 100 percent Zin. And I am sure they taste quite different.. I was at peachy canyon and tried about 8 different zins, all of which tasted very different. Still looking forward to drinking it, I'll give a report when that happens.

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Reply by benska, Jun 3, 2008.

Speaking of Ridge... For anyone in LA..

An Exquisite Dinner with Ridge Winery's Montebello Winemaker........Eric Baugher


The Ridge Winery
Dinner
Tuesday, June 10th
Upstairs2
2311 Cotner Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
7:30PM
$160 Per Person

Join the Wine House and Ridge Winery's Montebello winemaker Eric Baugher for an evening of fine dining paired with current and previous wine vintages. Ridge winery has been a shining star since their wine was favored over Bordeaux in the famous 1976 Paris blind tasting. Vintages 1992,1994,1996, and 1999 Montebello will be paired with a menu from Chef Todd Barrie of Upstairs2.

Advance registration required. Cancellations must be made 72 hours prior to event. For reservations call 310-479-3731 Ext. 0


Passed Hors d'oeuvre

2006 Santa Cruz Chardonnay $32

1st Course
Grilled Baby Lamb Chops
Eggplant Ratatouille
Golden Raisins & Pine Nuts

2005 Lytton Syrah West $38

2nd Course
Pan Roasted Ostrich Tenderloin
Creamy Polenta
Black Cherry Demi-Glaze

2006 Ponzo Zinfandel $29
2005 Lytton Springs Zinfandel $30
2006 Geyserville Zinfandel $39

3rd Course
Grilled Bison Rib Eye
Sauteed Broccolini, Yukon Smashed Potatoes
Green Peppercorn Sauce

1992 Montebello $225
1994 Montebello $225
1996 Montebello $225
1999 Montebello $115

4th Course
Coppa Mascarpone
Chocolate and Amaretto Cookie Crumbs

Wine House
2311 Cotner Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90064-1877
Phone: 800-626-9463 x260
Email: wine@winehouse.com


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