This wine floored us from the very first sip! Ancient Peaks sits in the Paso Robles appellation, 22 miles south of the city itself, and just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Here, the surrounding peaks of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range act as a gateway between one region to the south that is exceedingly ocean-cooled, and another to the north that is much, much warmer (sometimes downright hot!). When the days heat up in the areas north and east of Margarita Vineyard, the air rises to create a vacuum that pulls marine breezes and fog inland over the peaks, and right through the vineyard. This means the fruit gets ripe, without any "off" flavors, yet the cooling afternoon breezes help the resulting wine to retain freshness and acidity.
The Renegade is a blend of 32% Syrah, 25% Zinfandel, 20% Malbec, 19% Petit Verdot, and 4% Petite Sirah, the wine is loaded with deep berry aromas that reveal accents of toasty oak, baking spice, cedar and tobacco. The texture is broad and velvety, offering concentrated flavors of boysenberry, blueberry, black cherry and cocoa that are powerfully framed by savory notes of bacon fat and pepper. Plush tannins and lengthy fruit converge into a smooth, seamless finish.
JEB DUNNUCK 90 POINTS - "The entry-level Syrah, the 2017 Syrah Tous Les Jours was brought up all in neutral barrels. Coming entirely from sites in the Santa Ynez Valley, it offers a deep ruby/plum color as well as a juicy bouquet of smoked black fruits, olives, sappy herbs, pepper, and scorched earth. Medium-bodied, juicy, balanced, and about as quaffable as they come, it's a no-brainer effort to enjoy over the coming 4-5 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Medium to deep ruby-purple, the 2017 Syrah Tous les Jours opens with notes of tar and smoke, giving way to peppered meat, black olive and dense black and blue fruits with floral notions. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with dark fruits firmly framed by ripe tannins and lifted by juicy acidity, finishing long."
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!
The "La Guera" bottling is comprised of 75% Albarino and 25% Chardonnay. With an aroma of fresh white flowers such as honey suckle, lemon blossoms and pineapple this wine bursts from the glass. Followed by similar notes on the palate including citrus and apple notes that compliment the acidity and minerality behind it. Perfect to pair with fresh seafood, a perfect summer salad or cheese. Drink now or save up to 5 years.
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 94+ POINTS - "Coming from a single vineyard in the cooler Bennett Valley (although the site is so unique they don't label this wine as from Bennett Valley), the 2017 The Integral checks in as 62% Syrah and 38% Mourvedre that had the Syrah mostly destemmed and the Mourvedre fermented with 100% whole clusters. Deep purple-hued with notes of smoke blue fruits, bloody minerality, charcoal, and graphite, it's medium to full-bodied, concentrated, backward, and structured. Hide bottles for 4-5 years and it's going to keep for over a decade."
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "A light-footed bruiser, opening with boldly expressive blackberry jam aromas before revealing a structured core wrapped in compelling currant, licorice and smoky beef flavors. Syrah and Mourvedre. Best from 2021 through 2028. 422 cases made."
A ripe, rich blend of 47% Grenache, 47% Tannat, and 6% Syrah.
Tannat is justly famous for its huge tannins and dark, inky color. It can be a rough wine, lacking charm and complexity, but in a cuvée, it adds undeniable power, grip and palate weight. We chose Grenache and Syrah to soften the Tannat’s grip and add layers of fruit to the Tannat’s spice and coal notes.
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.
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.
The "Dirt Worshipper" is a blend of 97% Syrah, 2% Roussanne, and 1% Viognier. An explosion of violets, black olives, plums, white pepper, and forest floor are a stunning introduction to this hedonistic beast. Flavors of seared ribeye, menthol, rolling tobacco, and blueberry dance around on the visceral palate. The mid-palate offers profound depth and power, but brightens as it evolves into a graceful and extraordinarily long finish.
Winery'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."
Seven 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, Stolpman Vineyard, Larner Vineyard, Kimsey, and Spear. 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.
The Earthquake Petite Sirah offers the varietal's typical full-bodied tannins, but the fruit is so opulent that its tannins are a very small part of its story. A whiff of violet lures you in, but then it's all dark chocolate and summer blackberry in the mouth. Tooth-staining, yes, but this is no Zinfandel on steroids. More elegant than previous vintages, it's down right pretty.
ANTONIO GALLONI 90 POINTS - "Fess Parker's 2017 Syrah (Santa Barbara County) is powerful and bold, with expressive savory and peppery notes that add striking shades of complexity. This is an especially rich, racy style. A touch of sweetness from American oak is a lovely accent to ripe dark cherry, plum, chocolate, licorice and grilled herb flavors."
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! This wine displays notes of black cherries, pepper crusted tri tip, mexican dark chocolate, fig, cedar, and cigar box.
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.
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 62% Grenache, 17% Mourvedre, 11% Syrah, and 10% 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 a blend of 40% Syrah, 35% Mourvedre, 19% Grenache, 4% Carignan, and 2% Tannat. Russel writes his tasting notes like a story, and he writes: "You never thought you'd get this far, but the wood-paneled bar with neon-lit signs has dissolved into your apartment balcony, where she's hungry and waiting. Frying up a grilled cheese in the kitchen you realize you're not kids anymore, so you're trying to channel your inner Thomas Keller, chopping fresh rosemary and sage, sizzling bacon, spreading pepper jelly. She hand-rolls a cigarette as you split the sandwich. Miles away, thunder rolls. The air turns earthy and sweet. Let it fill the space between you until the rain begins."
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."
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 94-97 POINTS - "The 2017 Syrah Hudson Vineyards is another glorious wine in this range. Rich and inky in the glass, the 2017 offers a compelling interplay of rich fruit allied to a vertical sense of structure. Dark red fruit, spice and floral notes are pushed forward, but it is the wine's total sense of poise that is most impressive today. Unctuous and full-throttle to the core, with head-spinning intensity and exceptional balance, the 2017 Syrah is shaping up to be an absolute jewel of a wine."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94-96+ POINTS - "John Kongsgaard had finished harvest prior to the fires in 2017. While the Atlas Peak fire came dangerously close, the winery was spared and the vineyards received just minimal damage."
"A barrel sample, the deep purple-black colored 2017 Syrah Hudson Vineyard offers black cherries, raspberries, crushed blackberries and tar with hints of anise and a waft of wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied and packed with perfumed fruit, it has lovely rounded tannins and great freshness, finishing long."
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."
Winery's Tasting Notes: "Graduating from college this year, Alec's life will soon take a more serious turn but there's still plenty of youthful delight in his 2017 Alec's Blend. 58% Syrah, 21% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon this year's blend is complex and fruit forward with opulent black cherry and a dash of sweet molasses. Sporting plush palate texture throughout, the wine finishes with delicious chocolatey tannins."
A blend of 70% Syrah, 9% Mourvedre, 8% Grenache, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petite Sirah, 3% Zinfandel, and 2% Clairette Blanche, Beautiful Earth is Mcprice Myers' flagship Paso Robles Blend, and it represents the best lots from their favorite westside vineyards. Ripe berries, violets, rose petals, sweet tobacco, peach-blackberry cobbler, dried sage, dark chocolate, and leather are all present on the nose. The palate is juicy and voluptuous with hints of cocoa powder, it is opulent and lush with a vibrant beam of energy ushering in a tantalizing finish.