SYRAH, GRENACHE, VIOGNIER, ETC
- Item #: i_201470Bottle Size: 750MLJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsProducers of Petite Sirah need to take note: there's a young gun out there who's going to show you some new moves! Winemaker Aaron Jackson is one amazing guy! He fully commits to whatever the task at hand is. So being the hardcore surfer that he is, you can imagine how dedicated to winemaking Aaron must be when he has to leave those firing Central Coast point breaks to head for the vineyards! His wines have been staples at our store for years, and it's amazing how he can make Petite Sirah taste so good, keep it complex yet easy to drink, and sell such a tasty wine for a reasonable price!
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "(raised for 22 months in large French oak barrels, 55% of them new) Bright purple. Smoke-tinged cherry and blueberry compote aromas show excellent clarity, and a mocha element sneaks in as the wine stretches out. Sweet and pliant in the mouth, offering densely packed yet lively red and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors and a hint of five-spice powder. Shows impressive energy on the broad, chewy finish, which is firmed by building tannins and sharpened by a late jolt of juicy acidity."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The inky colored 2015 Petite Sirah offers classic sweet black and plum fruits as well as some smoky, barbecue notes in its full-bodied, layered, powerful style. With 12% Syrah in the blend and brought up in 55% new barrels, it stays beautifully balanced and is a joy to drink."
- Item #: i_201430Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsTrespasser is a blend of 41% Petite Sirah, 30% Mourvedre, 24% Syrah, and 5% Grenache. Typically, the blend is focused on Aaron's spiciest barrels of Petite Sirah, while the more savory Mourvedre and Syrah components are fermented with about 50% whole clusters. He's been slowly increasing the Mourvedre component over the years because of how well it thrives in Paso Robles, as well as how much he loves its deep, savory contribution to the blend. The aromatics scream of black licorice, dried blueberries, and pepper, the palate flowing effortlessly across the tongue with savory earth, tobacco, dense fruit, and ample tannins.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 94 POINTS - "Aside from a few notable exceptions (particularly Ridge), Petite Sirah never seems to get much love, in California, or anywhere else. Aaron Jackson is doing his part to change that at his eponymous winery, which he founded in 2002. The results have been pretty compelling. Jackson's wines, all Petite Sirah-centric or -dominant, must be among the most graceful renditions of the variety that I have ever experienced. With an undergraduate degree in enology from Cal Poly and a masters in enology from the University of Adelaide under his belt, Jackson knows a thing or two about winemaking, and he also brings his talents to a second project, Aequorea, which produces elegant Pinot Gris, Viognier and Pinot Noir from cool, coastal vineyards in San Luis Obispo County, to the south of Paso Robles."
"(aged in large French oak barrels, 20% of them new, for 22 months) Opaque purple. Highly expressive black and blue fruit scents are complemented by white pepper, allspice and floral pastille nuances. Sappy and broad in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated blackberry, cherry cola and spicecake flavors and a touch of candied licorice. Smooth, harmonious tannins build steadily on an impressively long, sweet finish that leaves behind floral and juicy dark berry notes."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "Similarly deep ruby/purple-colored, the 2015 Trespasser (41% Petite Sirah, 30% Mourvedre, 24% Syrah, and the rest Grenache) gives up lots of blueberry, ground herbs, pepper, and smoky, meaty notes in its rich, concentrated, yet beautifully balanced personality. With notable freshness and purity, fine tannins, and a great finish, it's another sensational blend from these limestone hills on the west side of Paso Robles."
- Item #: i_201360Bottle Size: 750mlBob Tillman searched for several years for the site where he could plant a truly world-class vineyard. After the family moved to the Central Coast of California and tasted the wines coming out of Paso Robles, they knew they found the right region! In 2003, Bob found this beautiful hilltop property on Adelaida Road that would become Alta Colina. All the grapes on this property are organically farmed, and the fruit is so amazing that other Central Coast producers such as McPrice Myers, Sans Liege, and Paydirt get fruit from Alta Colina.
- Item #: i_201340Bottle Size: 750mlBob Tillman searched for several years for the site where he could plant a truly world-class vineyard. After the family moved to the Central Coast of California and tasted the wines coming out of Paso Robles, they knew they found the right region! In 2003, Bob found this beautiful hilltop property on Adelaida Road that would become Alta Colina. All the grapes on this property are organically farmed, and the fruit is so amazing that other Central Coast producers such as McPrice Myers, Sans Liege, and Paydirt get fruit from Alta Colina.
- Item #: i_205560Bottle Size: 750mlLast year, winemaker Edgar Torres brought us a couple wines that were simply amazing! This year is no different, other than the fact that he has a new wine that is really gets us excited! His latest bottling is called "Toro de Paso", a blend of Tempranillo, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Tempranillo and Grenache are a couple of the primary grapes in many Spanish reds, and coming from this Central Coast region, calling this wine Toro de Paso just made sense.
Offering plenty of underbrush, loamy earth, spice and mulled black fruits, the 2013 Toro de Paso is medium-bodied, nicely concentrated, with good fruit, but a firm, savory edge to its tannin. Give bottles a year in the cellar but plan on drinking by 2023. The blend in 2013 is 65% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache, 5% Cabernet, and 5% Merlot, all of which spent two years in oak.
- Item #: i_205800Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "The 2017 White is in the same ballpark and reminds me of a top Hermitage Blanc from Michel Chapoutier. Quince, honeysuckle, buttered citrus, marmalade, and white flower notes all flow to a full-bodied, concentrated, yet beautifully balanced white that does everything right. It's that perfect match of richness and freshness, not to mention awesome purity."
- Item #: i_207290Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Vinous Media: 93-96ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "From humble beginnings in 1998, Carlisle continues to go from strength to strength, growing from a solid philosophy of sourcing mainly Zinfandel and Rhône varieties from ancient vineyards in Sonoma and further afield. So, most of the vines used by Mike and Kendall Officer were planted from 1888 to 1934. From 2013, they have their own winery in which to create their magic—the old Robert Mueller winery in Russian River Valley."
"Made up of 100% Syrah, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Syrah Papa's Block comes bounding out of the glass with gregarious crushed blackcurrants and black plums with touches of dried herbs, black pepper, aniseed and tilled soil plus a waft of underbrush. Full-bodied with a firm backbone of grainy tannins and a lively line supporting the generous fruit, it has a very long, savory finish. 561 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93-96 POINTS - "The Carlisle 2016s are quite possibly the most brilliant wines I have ever tasted from Mike Officer. A move towards picking on the earlier side than in the past along with the natural virtues of the vintage come together to yield a set of thrilling, captivating wines of the very highest level. According to Officer 2016 was shaping up to be similar to 2015, until cool weather arrived in August and slowed down ripening, which, in turn, extended hang time by a few weeks. The only problem with the 2016s is that readers may not be able to buy all the wines given the vast number of compelling bottlings in this range. I would be thrilled to drink any of these wines any day of the week. They are every bit that outstanding. Even better, pricing remains exceedingly fair by any standard or measure. Readers who can find these wines should not hesitate, as they are truly magnificent."
"The 2016 Syrah Papa's Block brings together so many of the best elements that make the Carlisle wines so compelling. Explosive and powerful, with real character, the 2016 is a superb. The 22% whole clusters add an expressive aromatic top notes that plays off the dark, inky fruit beautifully. All the elements are wonderfully fused together in a deep, plush wine endowed with pedigree and class."
- Item #: i_207240Bottle Size: 750mlWhile many 2017s were picked earlier than their 2016 counterparts, this was one of the few exceptions where Carlisle picked later, despite lower yields. Twenty percent of the fruit was not destemmed to add structure and aromatics. After a five-day cold soak, the wine was fermented with two yeast strains that emphasize varietal character and mouthfeel. Twenty-five days on the skin. Pressed to all French oak, 24% new, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Tasting Note: Dark purple-ruby. A floral top note provided by the whole cluster complements aromas of macerated blackberries and roasted meat. Medium-full to full-bodied. While whole cluster can often add additional tannin to a wine, here it seems to have made the wine smoother, more harmonious. With exceptional balance, this wine will have a wide window of enjoyment.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92-95 POINTS - "The 2017 Syrah Papa's Block is dense, powerful and explosive. Blackberry jam, lavender, spice, menthol and game infuse the 2017 with tremendous character. The 20% whole stems add aromatic nuance, but are not especially apparent. Inky and deep, yet also quite nuanced, the Papa's is wonderfully complete, not to mention one of the highlights in this vast range of 2017s from Carlisle and Mike Officer."
- Item #: i_214970Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92Planted in 1999, Denner Vineyards is a winegrowing estate on the far western border of the Paso Robles AVA. Their 156 acres press up against the Santa Lucia Range, giving the site great diversity of elevation, aspect and soil. Previously dry farmed barley, the estate is nestled into the Templeton Gap, an East/West corridor where the marine layer can reach the inland valleys. As a result they receive large diurnal temperature swings without high moisture pressure, giving us a near perfect growing climate.
The 108 acres under vine are comprised of 19 different varieties in 26 unique blocks. Each block is farmed with painstaking attention to detail, allowing only for the best possible grapes to reach the winery. Aron Nevarez, their vineyard manager, is committed to environmentally friendly farming practices, using only sustainable inputs and minimal irrigation.
The "Theresa" bottling is a full bodied blend of 50% Roussanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, 10% Vermentino, 10% Picpoul, and 10% Marsanne.
- Item #: i_214870Bottle Size: 750mlWinery's Tasting Notes: "Juicy peach, lemon oil and orange marmalade are supported with hints of flint and mineral notes. The palate is full bodied, with flavors of nectarine, buttered brioche and honey. The rich, complex flavors are cut with a touch of tannin and bright acidity on the long fresh finish."
- Item #: i_215940Bottle Size: 750mlSeven is Dragonette's Syrah-based blend, originally named for the seven exceptional cool climate vineyard sites from which it was comprised. They have refined their vineyard sources for this wine over the years, selecting precise blocks and clones to increase aromatic and flavor complexity, rather than sheer fruit power. The 2016 Seven is comprised of 89% Syrah, 10% Grenache and 1% Viognier. The wine is sourced from John Sebastiano Vineyard (54%) Stolpman Vineyard (30%), Kimsey (8%) and Spear (8%). The wine was aged in French oak barrels and puncheons (10% new) for 18 months before blending and bottling.
We are thrilled with the performance of this wine, as it is already beginning to show off explosive, complex aromatics (red, blue and black fruits, spices and meats), a rich, yet lifted palate, smooth texture and a scintillatingly long finish for such a young wine. We expect this wine to continue to develop over the coming years and to last for well over a decade. Limited. Only 575 cases produced.
- Item #: i_274410Bottle Size: 750mlLate Bloomer is the late draft pick that emerges as a scoreboard leader. It is comprised of a selection of lots that winemaker Russell From babies for 4 years in a back corner of the winery. Aged without stirring or racking and topped every 2 weeks. The gangly kid on the label is a wine club member whose photo was selected by a panel of "experts" out of a hundred or so submissions from around the globe.
100% Grenache from Santa Barbara County vineayrds such as Stolpman, Larner, and John Sebastiano, this wine is like a giant blue nosed pitbull that's been known to crush basketballs in his mount, but thinks he's a lap dog and has no idea that he could be a monster. This is full of raspberry sauce poured out on a hot sidewalk, pastrami meat, clove, beef tartare, cherry flambe, sweet carnitas, rail car of fresh lumber, blood orange, mincemeat, and desert white sage. More headspinningly unexpected than a donky in a tutu and a heck of a lot more interesting.
- Item #: i_274490Bottle Size: 750mlRussell From is the owner, winemaker, and sole employee of Herman Story wines. Russell is talented in the cellar, and has a keen eye for what a vineyard can and cannot do. What does this mean?...It means you have one of the more talented winemakers from Paso Robles and Santa Barbara bringing some of the most exciting wines!
We like to think of this wine as an alternative for California Chardonnay drinkers. It has the weight and heft of Chardonnay, but with a completely different set of flavors and tactile sensations. The Tom Boy is 100% Viognier from Bien Nacido and Larner Vineyards in Santa Barbara County that was aged for 9 months in 100% new French oak.
It has a lovely straw/gold color with aromas and flavors of citrus rinds, apricots, white flowers, white tea, almond oil, and lots of glycerin. Rich, fragrant (as only Viognier can be), and decadent, this doubles as the the perfect beginning or end to a meal! Only 407 Cases Made!
- Item #: i_274560Bottle Size: 750mlThis isn’t just any rinky-dink poker night, it's the hottest game in town. The blinds are as big as the balls being broke, and if you aren't going big, you should probably go home. You take your seat and your chips and brace yourself. The flop is huge with brambles and black pepper. Violet and orange muscat on the turn has you feeling strong. You catch a blend of nectar and honey on the river, which sweetens the pot. You can spot the tell across the table, so you make the call. And you go home a legend.
- Item #: i_230830Bottle Size: 750mlHug Cellar’s wines are wines that are truly “made in the vineyard”. Handcrafted cultivation by these dedicated growers, and gentle winemaking in the cellar, produce wines that are rich and intense in their aromas, textures and flavors. There is very little manipulation in the small lot winemaking at Hug Cellars. We utilize whole cluster and indigenous yeasts in our fermentations. This fosters wines that reflect the pure expression of these unique vineyards.
- Item #: i_237730Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92A blend of 71% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, and 14% Syrah, this showcases great aromatics typical of it's Grenache vineyard in the Adelaida District AVA in West Side Paso Robles. On the nose is spicy red fruits, fresh cherries and hints of chocolate. On the palate its combines a new world juiciness and some old world Chateauneuf-du-Pape like floral notes and firm tannins. The Syrah component from a hillside vineyard in the Willow Creek AVA complements, but still allows the Grenache to be in the driver seat of this blend. We think you'll enjoy its freshness and structure now as well as benefit from several years of cellaring to experience its progression.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 92 POINTS - "(15% whole clusters; 40% new French oak) Saturated ruby. Heady, mineral-accented red berry liqueur and floral scents show excellent clarity and a smoky topnote. Sweet and sharply focused on the palate, offering ripe raspberry and cola flavors and a spicy hint of white pepper. Shows excellent finishing cut and floral persistence, with rounded tannins coming in late."
- Item #: i_214110Bottle Size: 750mlSel de la Terre, meaning "Salt of the Earth", was created in dedication of Mac's grandfather. This Westside Paso 100% Grenache is a combination of fruit from Luna Matta, Shadow Canyon and Terra Bella Vineyards. 85% whole cluster fermented in small, open top bins, and spent 15-20 days on skins with pump-overs during cold soak and punch downs during fermentation. Aged 20 months in 500-liter 2nd filled puncheons. The wine is riddled with aromas and flavors of Rose Petal, Bing Cherry, Cocoa Powder, Stone Fruit, Nectarine, Rosemary, Sage, Rhubarb Pie, Chalk, Cranberry, Mulberry, and Leather.
- Item #: i_241260Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92+Jeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsNamed for Ron Melville's wife, Donna's block is planted atop twenty feet of sand in the northeast section of Melville's vineyard and is composed of two-thirds clone 1 and one-third Estrella clone. Fermented as 100% whole clusters and aged in neutral barrel, this wine provides vividly enhanced aromatics and structure making it demonstrative of the extremely cool climate of the site on which it is grown.
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "The 2016 Syrah Donna's is a slightly toned-down version of this cuvee yet still offers fabulous notes of bacon fat, violets, beef blood, crushed pepper, and huge salty minerality, all of which is grounded by a terrific core of dark fruit. Deep, medium to full-bodied, rounded, and sexy on the palate, it has a singular character as well as 10-15 years of prime drinking."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Melville's 2016 Syrah Estate Donna's is perfumed and savory, with the influence of the 100% whole clusters very much in the foreground, something that was much less the case when the wine was in barrel. Wild flowers, sage, mint, thyme and a host of blue/purplish berry fruit meld together effortlessly. All the elements are simply in the right place. This is another gorgeous wine from Melville. "
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92+ POINTS - "The recently bottled 2016 Syrah Donna's grows in pure sand and was vinified with 100% whole bunches, wafting from the glass with a dramatic bouquet of blackberry, lilac, tea leaf and citrus rind. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, expansive and open-knit, with fine-grained, saline stem tannins and a lingering finish. This needs some time to come together after bottling, but it's a promising Syrah from Melville."
- Item #: i_253640Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91The Mount Peak story begins more than a century ago at the celebrated Monte Rosso Vineyard (one of the truly great vineyards in Sonoma County) and culminates with the revival of Mount Peak Winery, a vistige of one of California's ghost wineries. These wines are inspired by this great place, and the new owners pay tribute to the extraordinary winery that once stood there by capturing its enduring spirit in the wine.
The Gravity blend is named for a remote, hart-to-reach Petite Sirah block on a lower slope of the Monte Rosso Vineyard. Its location on the edge of a canyon and its steepness produces grapes with exceptional intensity. Six varieties - Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Grenache - create a vivid expression of the power and depth. This dark, dense wine is layered with stunning flavors ranging from boysenberry and bluebery jam to blackberry and fig. The dark berry and fig flavors pull together with accents of black truffle and dusty cocoa that create a full-bodied mouthfeel framed by assertive tannins and a long, concentraged finish.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "Mainly Petite Sirah blended with Sangiovese, the 2015 Proprietary Red Blend Gravity is deep garnet-purple colored with profound crushed black and red currants notes over chocolate box, beef drippings and scorched earth with touches of dried herbs and truffles. Medium to full-bodied, it's very firm and chewy with lovely lift and a long, earthy finish. 6,750 cases produced."
- Item #: i_248400Bottle Size: 750mlPetite Sirah is a revered grape varietal at Orin Swift. Since 2000, it has been made and utilized primarily as a blending component due to scarcity. Unlike its celebrated relative Syrah, Petite Sirah can be a challenge to source. Yet, it has always been an objective to showcase the varietal in a dynamic blend and a pursuit was launched to find some prized petite vineyards. The realization of this goal came in 2009 with the first release of Machete. Spurred by a favorable reaction, Orin Swift continued their hunt to include additional blocks in an effort to make the wine even better. Prominent regions throughout Northern California comprise this matrix, which provides for added layers of depth and structure. The results of which is a wine with attitude to complement the twelve individual labels.
A blend of Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Syrah, violet ink in the glass, a nose of black plums, cassis, and cacao engage. The robust entry consists of a progressing palate of blackberry and boysenberry compote, a reduction of dark plum and ripe figs, and pure Amarena cherry. Flashes of vanilla and traces of minerality evolve into chalky tannins and a smooth lingering finish.
- Item #: i_277125Bottle Size: 750MLA decadent experience this highly anticipated wine is plush and muscular with intense blackberry flavors.
- Item #: i_257810Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92-94Jeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 94-95 POINTS - "Bright violet. Smoke-accented cherry and blackberry aromas are complemented by suggestions of candied licorice, musky rhubarb and cracked pepper. Chewy and broad on entry and then tighter in the midpalate, offering concentrated dark berry preserve and spicecake flavors and a sweet touch of candied violet. Closes on a recurring floral note, showing impressive persistence and suave, even tannins."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92-94 POINTS - "The 2016 Esprit de Tablas contains more Syrah than has been the norm in recent years, a reflection of its unusually fine quality in this vintage. A blend of 46% Mourvedre, 31% Syrah, 18% Grenache and 5% Counoise, the wine reveals youthful notes of strawberries, licorice and aromatic bark. On the palate, it's textural, medium to full-bodied and savory, with fine-grained tannins, good balance and nice depth and dimension. It will be bottled in July and seems to be a very promising rendition of Esprit de Tablas."
JEB DUNNUCK 91-93 POINTS - "Incorporating the highest percentage of Syrah ever, the 2016 Esprit de Tablas checks in as a blend of 46% Mourvedre, 31% Syrah, 18% Syrah and the rest Counoise, aged in varying sized containers before blending and spending a year in foudre, its ruby color is followed by a vibrant, pretty barrel sample that has lots of red and black fruits, peppery herbs, violets and spring flower aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, elegant and pretty, with a grippy, structured vibe, it will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and keep for a decade or more."