Bob 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.
The focus of this two person operation is on small lot, single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, as well as several other varieties uncommon in Northern Californian vineyards. Sites are carefully chosen and are generally on the cooler end of the spectrum for the planted varieties. Collaboration with dedicated and passionate growers is paramount in the farming of these sites.
Duncan and Nathan grew up around winemaking in the Napa Valley. Nathan is a second generation cooper and personally builds all of the French oak barrels that are utilized in the ageing of all Arnot-Roberts wines. Over the years Duncan has worked making wine in the Napa Valley in wineries like, Caymus, Groth, Acacia, Kongsgaard. Total production of Arnot-Roberts is around 2,000 cases per year with thirteen individual wines.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "Duncan Arnot describes 2017 as a year with a longer growing season than 2016, which goes to show how different the growing season was in Sonoma relative to Napa Valley, which so often tends to dominate the discussion of California wines. In tasting, the 2017s here all show terrific energy and complexity. Moreover, the combination of intense summer heat and the cooler sites Arnot and Nathan Roberts favor, yielded a set of positively stunning wines. The 2017 Syrahs in particular are off the charts."
"The 2017 Syrah (Sonoma Coast) is a gorgeous wine and a huge overachiever in its peer group. Bright red cherry and plum fruit, rose petal, lavender and spice abound in this super-expressive, pliant Syrah. The purity of the flavors is simply remarkable. Medium in body, gracious and beautifully perfumed, the 2017 is a rock-star wine."
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."
JEB DUNNUCK 96-98 POINTS - "Lastly, the 2017 Vertigo checks in as 63% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre, 4% Grenache, and the balance Petite Sirah that's still aging in 65% new French oak. One of the more voluptuous, sexy 2017s from Jenson, it boasts loads of black and blue fruits, ground pepper, and spring flower aromas and flavors. Deep, full-bodied, ultra-pure, and with a big finish, it's killer wine in the making."
JEB 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."
JEB DUNNUCK 95-97 POINTS - "The purple-hued 2017 Fracture (100% Syrah aging in 65% new barrels) is another wine that shows a more fresh, elegant style, all while still packing rock star levels of fruit and texture. Cassis, vanilla bean, spice, and background oak notes all emerge from this full-bodied Syrah that has a clean, balanced texture, terrific mid-palate depth, and fabulous tannin quality. It's going to benefit from just short-term cellaring and cruise for a decade."
While 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."
Just like the flavorful and refreshing Rieslings grown in Germany, these grapes are grown on steep cliffs, next to a river (in this case, the Columbia River). A cooler site due to river influence, the soils are composed of fragmented basalt, gravel, silt, and caliche deposited during ice age floods. This site produces fruit with sublime mineral character and the acid balance that winemakers dream of. Aromatic, smooth, vibrant and tasty, this gem shows tangerine, pineapple, wet stone, key lime, clove and nectarine. This Kung Fu Girl kicks some serious butt for the money!
A blend of 52% Syrah, 21% Grenache, 12% Petite Sirah, 8% Tannat, and 7% Mourvedre, the life of the party has just arrived and is setting up shop in your mouth. It's approachable, as all good party guests should be, with lively flavors of blackberries, cherries and strawberries to get things started. And this Paso red blend knows how to mingle, introducing milk chocolate, caramel and leather to all those beautiful fruits. It's going to be an interesting night.
It was a mutual love of Pinot Noir that led Joe & Vicki Stark to establish Colene Clemens Vineyard and Winery back in 2005. Operating a successful business, Joe and Vicki developed a taste for fine wine through the '80's. At that point in time, they had no clue just what the Willamette Valley would become in the wine making world.
When they set their sights on purchasing property to plant their vineyard, they found an old abandoned farmstead and orchard that had lain fallow for many years, possessing ideal aspect (south facing), elevations (350ft to 650ft) and an array of high quality, proven Pinot Noir soils, not to mention fantastic views, no place could have been better. The icing on the cake for Joe and Vicki was that the property was less than 2 miles from where they lived with their first born.
From the beginning the goal has been to do everything possible to make the very best Pinot Noir. No compromise has been made in vineyard preparation, farming practices and wine making. Steve Goff, the gifted and dedicated winemaker and vineyard manager, has utilized the most diligent, time-tested and non-invasive protocols in both the vineyard and winery to further this goal. The 2015 release ended up earning 95 points from Wine Spectator and was #7 on their "Top 100" list of 2018, and this newly released vintage is a fantastic follow up!
A blend of 64% Petite Sirah, 23% Syrah, 10% Zinfandel, 2% Lagrein, and 1% Tannat, the 2017 Pessimist has a powerful and intensely aromatic nose that ascends to greet you with blueberry, boysenberry and black plum fragrance. Evolving layers reveal elderberry and truffle, with cocoa and cardamom spice accents, further augmented by hints of eucalyptus, leather, cherry pipe tobacco and grilled meats. Broad and expansive on the palate, bestowing lush and generous flavors of black cherry, blueberry, creme de cassis and damp forest floor. Notes of lavender, anise and black olives complement the rich fruit. Massive in weight yet elegantly structured, this wine is a powerhouse that reveals itself in controlled stages .
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "This was a very impressive tasting with winemaker Jordan Fiorentini and proprietor Bill Armstrong. Epoch's wines succeed in capturing all the power of which western Paso Robles is capable, but for all their structure, extract and ripe fruit, they're beautifully balanced and texturally refined, with new oak very much taking a back seat to the grapes and the vineyards. Fiorentini is clearly passionate and a perfectionist, and I'm sure Epoch is only going to go from strength to strength in coming vintages."
"A blend of 48% Viognier, 40% Grenache Blanc and 12% Roussanne, the 2017 Epoch White is further testimony to the excellence of which Paso Robles whites are capable, wafting from the glass with a fragrant bouquet of peach, white flowers and lime cordial. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, taut and concentrated, with mouthwatering acids and a long, fragrant and beautifully delineated finish. While Viognier is the largest component of the blend, it doesn't drown out the other varieties' voices."
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "(raised in a combination of concrete, oak and stainless steel vessels) Pale bright yellow. Penetrating scents of ripe citrus and pit fruits are joined by hints of chalky minerals, candied ginger and honeysuckle. Juicy and deeply concentrated but lively in the mouth, offering poached pear, peach nectar and Meyer lemon flavors that show excellent delineation and energetic back-end lift. The mineral and floral notes repeat emphatically on the incisive finish, which lingers with impressive persistence."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "I always love the white from this estate and the 2017 White (48% Viognier, 40% Grenache Blanc, and the rest Roussanne) is another winner. White flowers, stone fruits, citrus, and a distinct salty minerality all emerge from this elegant, incredibly pure, finesse-oriented white that will keep for 3-4 years."
A blend of 53% Syrah, 32% Grenache, and 15% Petite Sirah, this opaque purple-colored wine entices with aromas of blackberry, black cherry, plum, boysenberry, vanilla, baking spices, smoked chocolate, and anise. Flavors of blueberry, blackberry, dark chocolate, plum, smoked meat, and vanilla lead to a lenghty finish.
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 best values in California's Central Coast! This bottling of Grenache Blanc comes from a variety of vineyards in Paso Robles to increase complexity.
white peach skin, river rock minerality, lychee, quince, green tea,
citrus hard candy, lemongrass
Counoise is a varietal from the Rhone Valley of France, just like Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre also hail from that region. Counoise is typically used in blending, and not bottled on its own. Why?...Frankly, because most people don't know techniques to produce a Counoise that is good enough on its own. However, our man Curt from Sans Liege and Groundwork figured out a way to coax the best attributes from this grape to put into the bottle!
Curt utilized 70% whole cluster fermentation on native yeast in open top 1.5 ton fermentors helped by pumpovers to get color, flavor, and aromatics. He also employed something called carbonic maceration, a technique that results in fresher, more vibrant aromatics and fruit flavors. The result is a wine that has bright fresh notes of rhubarb and pomegranate. Young violets, tri-tip tartare & grilled sourdough. Hint of cherry chapstick with a juicy palate and lively finish. He recommends to serve this slightly below room temp. This one is meant for more immediate pleasure!
Grenache Blanc excels in Halter Ranch's limestone rich soils on the Westside of Paso Robles. Reminiscent of the wines of Southern France, this Grenache Blanc has aromas and flavors of honey, white flower, melons and pear. Delicious on its own, this wine also pairs beautifully with hearty salads, prosciutto and melon, and anything from the sea.
This 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.
Russell 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!
Russell's Nuts and Bolts is 100% Syrah from some of the more pretigious vineyards in California's Central Coast, including Bien Nacido, White Hawk, and Luna Matta. His tasting notes read: "You've finally done it and curated the man cave of your dreams. The hand-carved cherry wood bar is fully stocked with everything from espresso tequila to berry-infused absinthe to Jolt Cola. The 1915 Brunswick pool table compliments the Elle Bleu Gargoyle humidor with names like Behike, Opus X and Black Dragon. The hint of gun-metal oil permeates the air from the well-kept Glock 17 kept on display, and the built-in Excelsior houses the 88" that just so happens to be tuned to a Jai Alai match. There's mesquite grilled Chateaubriand at the carving station and Tito Puente on the jukebox. Most of all, there is a level of comfort and intimacy that you swirl around your glass before drinking it all in."
The 2017 Santa Barbara County Syrah combines fruit from the four Syrah vineyards Jaffurs works with. After blending trials, a small amount of Grenache was added in for aromatics and complexity. More than a sum of its parts this wine exhibits cherry, wild berry and violet aromatics. Full and fruitful in the mouth, with underlying espresso and pepper flavors. Sharing the same farming and winemaking techniques as their vineyard designated wines, this Jaffurs Syrah can be enjoyed upon release or cellared for several years.
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.
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."
JEB DUNNUCK 91-93 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."
"Starting with the wines from barrel, the 2017 Optimus (55% Syrah, 41% Grenache, and the rest Petit Verdot) will certainly be a charming, sexy, outstanding bottle of wine. It gives up lots of cassis and jammy dark fruits in a primary, full-bodied, layered style."