Born in Michoacan, Mexico, winemaker Edgar Torres has lived in the coastal town of Cambria, California since the age of 8. As it seems to happen to many people who live close to Paso Robles, he fell in love with wine and decided to make his livelihood in the wine business. Hey…can you blame him?!? He has worked with many of the superstars of the Central Coast, including Matt Garretson, Augie Hug, Alta Maria Vineyards, Barrel 27, and McPrice Myers. We sampled his latest releases a few months ago, and they really knocked our socks off! The intensity of these wines are rivaled by few here in the United States, and we suggest you check out what Edgar can do!
A combination of two great vineyards, Alta Mesa vineyard in Santa Barbara and Kimsey Vineyard in Santa Ynez. This wine screams aromas of red flowers, dark cranberries, cherries, pomegranate, hints of grilled herbs, and leather. The palate mimics much of the nose with a great freshness and minerality, and has good grippy tannins making it worthy of aging. This wine is big and pairs well with meat or seared tuna. Enjoy now or lay it down for 7-9 years.
A blend of 50% Garnacha, 33% Carignan, and 17% Tempranillo from the Paper Street Vineyard. The 2016 Mi Montsant was my favorite of these offerings from Bodega De Edgar, offering up lovely aromas of blackberry, spice, cherry, dried flowers and burning embers. On the palate, it's full-bodied, rich and layered, with a lavish core of fruit but also lovely energy and definition. The finish is long and finely tannic.
JEB DUNNUCK 95-97 POINTS - "I loved the 2017 Oublie. This blend of 53% Grenache, 22% Mourvedre, 21% Syrah and the rest a mix of varieties offers a layered, silky, seamless profile. Giving up more black and blue fruits, peppery herbs, and floral overtones, it has silky tannins, medium to full body, and a great finish. It’s another beautiful wine."
Planted 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.
A blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre, 15% Syrah, 5% Counoise, and 5% Cinsaut, this wine is complex and mysterious, with aromas of black licorice, ripe strawberry, botanicals and Chinese five spice that explodes from the glass. A core of dense red fruit flavors, chocolate truffle, and guanciale mingle on the impressive palate. The finish is beautifully rich and textured while still surprisingly light on its feet.
This is an insane value from Curt Schalchlin; the owner and winemaker of SANS LIEGE. After several years learning from and working for some of the Central Coast's most sought-after producers, Curt decided to go his own way. The wines he puts under the Sans Liege label have received lofty praise from other winemakers and consumers, and his Groundwork label is on the way to becoming one of the better values in California's Central Coast!
Hahn's GSM (60% Grenache, 37% Syrah, and 3% Mourvedre) takes its inspiration from the Rhone Valley of southern France where Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre are some of the most popular grape types grown. Each of the three grape types blended into this wine adds distinctive aromas and flavors. Grenache contributes raspberry, strawberry and cherry flavors, while Syrah lends color, tannins and hints of blueberry and black pepper. The Mourvedre adds richness to the mid-palate and lengthens the dry finish.
Cotes de Paso is Halter Ranch's Rhone-style blend that is a combination of four varietals from their sustainably farmed estate vineyard. A blend of 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 8% Mourvedre, and 7% Tannat . Grenache provides a bright fruit-forward entry, Mourvedre adds spice notes, while Syrah brings some weight to the mid-palate, and Tannat ties everything together with color, tannin and acidity. Loaded with aromas of dried strawberry, cinnamon sticks and potpourri, this delicious wine has an elegant palate that leads to a long smooth finish.
This is the personal wine of Anthony Yount, who also makes the incredible wines at Denner. The Royal Nonesuch Farm is dedicated to making a singular wine from their seven-acre vineyard on York Mountain. Yet, the Royal Nonesuch Farm is so much more than a seven-acre vineyard. It is where three-generations of the Yount Family live and play; where they raise their live-stock and grow their fruits and vegetables. It is their home. For this and so many other reasons they never use herbicides, chemical fertilizers or pesticides on the farm.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "(raised in a combination of new and used French oak barrels, concrete tanks and amphoras) Deep brilliant ruby. An assertively perfumed bouquet evokes fresh black and blue fruits, Moroccan spices, vanilla and smoky minerals, while a suave floral pastille accent builds in the glass. Deeply concentrated yet surprisingly lively on the palate, offering sweet black raspberry, boysenberry, spicecake and mocha flavors that unfold slowly, picking up licorice and vanilla notes on the back half. Shows outstanding clarity and thrust on a supple, strikingly long finish shaped by smooth, building tannins."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93-95 POINTS - "One of the reference point estates in Paso Robles is unquestionably Stephan Asseo's l'Aventure."
"Leading off the reds from barrel, the full-bodied 2015 Cote a Cote (60% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah) has an elegant, cool climate feel (which can be common in the vintage) as well as pretty, elegant notes of violets, raspberries, peppery herbs and black cherries. The final blend will be a mix of roughly 60% barrels and 40% in concrete and amphora, and it should have a decade of longevity."
JEB DUNNUCK 93-95 POINTS - "Consistently thrilling wines come from l'Aventure, which is run with incredible talent and passion by St. Emilion native Stephan Asseo. His 2016s are incredible efforts, and the 2017 more Rhone blends are certainly in the same ballpark. Due to the heat spikes at harvest, Bordeaux varieties were much more difficult and hit or miss."
"Another elegant and seamless wine is the 2017 Cote a Cote (48% Grenache, 32% Mourvedre, and the balance Syrah) has an exotic, perfumed style in its cassis and strawberry fruits, and it's full-bodied, nicely concentrated, and layered on the palate. I love its tannin quality, it's balanced, and is going to drink nicely right out of the gate."
Located in the Paso Robles AVA, Law Family Vineyards sits at 1800 feet of elevation, higher than most vineyards in the area. This gives Law Estate distinct microclimates in an appellation already known to have a greater day-to-night temperature swing than any other in California. Calcareous soils with high lime content make these vineyards the best of the best. John Crossland at Vineyard Professional Services, with input from the Laws and winemaker Scott Hawley, designed and planted the thirty-two acres of Rhone varietals in 2008. Eighty percent of the vineyard is planted in multiple clones of Grenache and Syrah with smaller blocks of Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Carignane and Tempranillo. Sustainable farming with minimal applications results in premium fruit.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 94 POINTS - "Lurid ruby-red. A powerful, exotically perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, candied lavender and Asian spices, along with a smoky mineral overtone. Silky, seamless and alluringly sweet, offering juicy raspberry liqueur, cherry pie and floral pastille flavors that deepen and flesh out slowly as the wine opens up. Impressively concentrated yet vibrant in character, delivering superb finishing energy and supple tannins that add gentle grip to the floral-tinged finish."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "A Grenache-based cuvée that includes 15% Syrah, the 2015 Beguiling offers up notes of cherry preserve, raspberry liqueur and sweet new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied, with a juicy core of sweet, baked fruit and a firm, heavily extracted finish that clamps down on the tongue and gums. This is simply carrying too much tannin for its own good."
A 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."
Sel 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.
Orin Swift considers this wine to be the culmination of a thirteen-year process. From 2000-2012 Dave Phinney spent countless hours in the vineyards and in blending trials working to perfect The Prisoner. He has taken all that knowledge, both the trials and tribulations, and diligently applied it to Abstract. With The Prisoner chapter of winemaking behind him, orin Swift feels as if a natural progression has been made and an evolution has occurred. Orin Swift's ongoing pursuit of choice vineyards throughout California resulted in some extraordinary Grenache, along with exquisite Petit Sirah, and Syrah that was assembled together into an artful collage both in and outside of the bottle.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Proprietary Red Abstract is made up of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Zinfandel, aged eight months in 30% new French and American oak. It has a deep garnet-purple color and features black cherries, fresh black berries and redcurrants with touches of mossy bark, black pepper and garrigue. Full and firm, with a wonderfully rounded texture, it offers loads of black fruit and peppery layers, finishing long and earthy. 38,000 cases produced."
This bright Larner Vineyard Grenache is fruity yet refined with a touch of earthiness. Fresh blackberries and nuances of baking spices work seamlessly together to create a dry medium plus bodied goddess. This wine is beautiful now but can also be enjoyed as it matures 2-3 years to unveil its full potential.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98+ POINTS - "The 2014 Grenache Testa dei Cherubini saw fully 37.5 months in wood, some 25% new, but its influence is imperceptible; the wine is strikingly pure and vibrant. Krankl commented that the longer the wines spend in barrel, the more slowly they seem to evolve in bottle. Unfurling in the glass with aromas of juicy red cherries, peonies and plums, it's initially quite reserved, becoming more expressive with air. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, layered and very concentrated, with strikingly fine-grained, revolved tannins, juicy acids and impressive length and depth. Like the 2015 Le Chemin Vers l'Heresie also reviewed in this report, it's remarkably pure and integrated and ranks as one of the finest Grenache bottlings I've tasted from Sine Qua Non. It's also one wine that will clearly benefit from bottle age, no matter how tempting it may be when it's released in November of this year. The blend includes 15.5% Syrah, 4% Petite Sirah and a tiny 0.5% of Viognier, and 895 cases, 228 magnums and 30 double magnums were produced."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "Showing similar to a previous bottle tasted in Colorado, the 2013 Grenache Female (78% Grenache, 19% Syrah and 3% Mourvedre) is more high toned and pretty than the 2014, with perfumed notes of black raspberries, licorice, herbes de Provence and violets. Similar on the palate to the 2014, yet perhaps with a touch more tannin, give this beauty a few years and drink it through 2033."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Coming all from Manfred's Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and a blend of 77% Grenache, 22% Syrah and 1% Viognier (fermented with 25% whole clusters), the 2011 Grenache Patine spent a full 33 months in almost all neutral oak, with just 11% being new. It offers perfumed and spice-laced notes of white pepper, black raspberry, blackberry and ground herbs that flow to a full-bodied, elegant, nicely concentrated 2011 that has nicely integrated acidity, no hard edges and a terrific finish. It's certainly one of the fresher, more elegant Grenaches from Manfred, yet it still has rocking levels of fruit. Give it 2-3 years of cellaring and enjoy bottles over the following decade."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "A perfect wine any way you look at it, the 2012 Grenache Rattrapante comes all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and spent 33 months in 27% new French oak. My notes start - and end - with "Wow." Giving up tons of black raspberries, peppery herbs, licorice, dried flowers and cured meats, it's a massively concentrated, rich and layered Grenache that somehow manages to stay graceful, lively and fresh on the palate. There are roughly 800 cases of this elixir and any Grenache lover should do their best to latch onto a bottle (or two). It's also worth noting that this cuvee saw 26% whole clusters, which is a small change from past vintages."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "The 2013 Grenache Jusqu' a l'os was produced from 79% Grenache from the 11 Confessions Vineyard along with 18% Syrah and 3% Petite Sirah, produced using 89% whole cluster and aged for around 38 months in 51% used oak, 6% new French oak and 43% concrete tanks (bottled December 6, 2016). It displays a medium to deep garnet color and rock star vibrant red currant and black raspberry scents with hints of licorice, mocha, Indian spices and peppered salami plus oh-so-fragrant and seductive touches of potpourri and chargrill. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated and opulently fruited in the mouth, the alluring, velvety tannins support savory, spicy layers right through the long, mineral-laced finish. This is one drop dead gorgeous, femme fatale of a wine. 868 cases of 750 milliliter bottles, 223 magnums and 30 double magnums were made."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "The 2014 Grenache Shakti is blended of 88% Grenache, 6% Mourvedre, 4% Petite Sirah and 2% Touriga Nacional, coming 51% from the Cumulus (Estate) Vineyard, 18% from The Third Twin (Estate) Vineyard, 9.5% from Bien Nacido Vineyard and 21.5% for the Eleven Confessions (Estate) Vineyard. It was produced using 42% whole cluster and aged for around 21 months in French oak, 6% new (bottled June 21, 2017). It offers up a deep garnet-purple color and notes of dried Mediterranean herbs, dusty earth, Chinese five spice and rose petals over a core of red currants, mulberries, red plums and black raspberries, plus a waft of chocolate covered cherries. Full-bodied, decadently concentrated and yet very, very pretty in the mouth, it delivers incredibly fine-grained, ripe tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing on a persistent—totally disarming—perfumed red fruit note. 1,199 cases of 750 milliliter bottles and 600 magnums were made."