Saturday, December 6, 2008

Quick Trip to Paso Robles

Well the family decided to head south for Turkey Day this year and enjoy the hamlet of Paso Robles. If you haven't been there...GO! It's a true slice of "old california" and the wine scene is epic. There are about a hundred wineries in and around town and I'd say the vast majority are good. There are some dogs and a some stunning standouts. The wines focus on Rhone varietals, but like every other place trends are being followed (biodynamicism,natural wines, and obscure varietals from france, spain and italy).

"zin vines and robles"

I only had time to hit up 3 wineries this trip. First the great standard, Tablas Creek. Simply classic! French winemaking done with CA fruit that is a beautiful marriage. I think some people wet their pants at the "terroir". I know I did. The hay bed drying for the desert wines is a killer idea and yields lots of sugar without picking too late in the season.

Next up was the high scoring Four Vines. Any place that tries to come off punkish captures my attention. Zinfandel Meca? Maybe so. I always doubt Zin and question the legions of devotees to this grape. Four Vines makes great Zin and can impress the most stubborn of haters. The vibe at the tasting room was refreshing. A bit of a biker/punker edge, but not enough to scare away Volvos and Mercedes folks with gold cards.

"terry does anarchy at 4vines"

Last was Lone Madrone. I had heard this winery was owned by the Tablas Creek winemaker Neil Collins. It appears this is his lab for everything non-classic. 16.3% Syrah would never happen at Tablas. NEVER.

"paso robles christmas tree
lighting in city park"


All in all it was a great time. I encourage you to check out Paso.