- Item #: i_205580Bottle Size: 750mlBorn 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.
- Item #: i_205610Bottle Size: 750mlA 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.
- Item #: i_206240Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker Erik miller was inspired to begin this new project by an emerging style of California wines that are lighter in alcohol, crunchy in acidity, and bright in appearance. Erik was originally introduced to this style of wine by Cru Beaujolais, and decided to craft their own interpretation of this from two of their favorite varietals, Zinfandel and Grenache. The defining characteristic is whole-cluster fermentation (carbonic maceration), which lends a crunchy, herbaceous character to the wine. The goal is a very hands-off approach to winemaking that highlights the purity of fruit, and deliciousness of a lighter bodied red wine that preferably should be served slightly chilled.
The defining characteristic is whole-cluster fermentation (carbonic maceration). They use all native yeast for spontaneous fermentation, all native bacteria for malolactic fermentation, and add no Sulphur throughout fermentation. The goal is a very hands-off approach to winemaking that highlights the purity of fruit, and deliciousness of a lighterbodied red wine. The result is a fresh, crisp wine, that preferably should be served slightly chilled, which has a back bone of acidity and an unmistakable minerality that leaves your palate wanting more.
- Item #: i_214480Bottle Size: 750mlA ripe, rich blend of 47% Grenache, 47% Tannat, and 6% Syrah.
Winemaker's Comment: 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.
- Item #: i_274960Bottle Size: 750mlJordan gives respect to to Rose, as it can be perfectly balanced and complex. Her rendition is a blend of 62% Mourvedre, 21% Grenache, and 17% Syrah. With delicate notes of strawberry, hay, honeysuckle, crisp peach, and sweet lemon/lime, Mourvedre makes a huge impression at 62% of this irresistible MGS Rhône Rose blend. As the aromas continue to evolve and the wine warms in your glass, this Rose soars across the palate in a yin/yang balance between fruit, flowers, wet stones, saline, and zingy acid. This is a wine that we crave all day long.
- Item #: i_227450Bottle Size: 750mlThis 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!
- Item #: i_228270Bottle Size: 750mlHahn'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.
- Item #: i_274430Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 96This 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."
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "More inky colored, the 2017 Casual Encounters checks in as 40% Syrah, 35% Mourvedre, 19% Grenache, and tiny amounts of Carignan and Tannat. Lots of mulled black fruits, smoked meat, barbecue, and peppery notes emerge from the glass. It's full-bodied, super-rich, and concentrated, yet still stays light on its feet and beautifully balanced. It's a classic, sweetly fruited, sexy 2017 to enjoy over the coming 5-7 years or so."
- Item #: i_235820Bottle Size: 750mlThis 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.
- Item #: i_234510Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 97Located 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.
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "The Grenache-dominated (there's 18% Syrah) 2017 Beguiling offers a similar ruby/plum hue as well as spicy notes of wild strawberries, blueberries, dried earth, toasted spices, and flowery incense. It's another elegant yet full-bodied, powerful wine in this lineup that's loaded with character."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2017 Beguiling is made up of 82% Grenache and 18% Syrah, the highest proportion of Syrah ever for this wine. The wine aged 19 months in 30% new oak. It has a medium ruby-purple color and lifted aromatics of cranberry jelly, blackberry jam, red and black currants, salami and pepper with touches of bergamot, red berries, autumn leaves, underbrush and amaro. Medium-bodied and silky, it slowly unfurls to floral and orange-tinged fruits, with a finely grained frame and juicy acidity calling you back for one more sip, finishing long and very layered. Lovely!"
- Item #: i_237730Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 93ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 94 POINTS - "Deep vivid ruby. Assertive cherry and raspberry liqueur aromas are complemented by suggestions of baking spices and candied flowers. Sappy and expansive in the mouth, offering appealingly sweet red and blue fruit preserve and candied lavender flavors that are energized by a spicy touch of white pepper. Shows impressive depth as well as energy and finishes impressively long and smooth, with well-knit tannins and strong, floral-driven persistence. 15% whole clusters and once-used French oak."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "In the same ballpark, yet more Grenache-dominated, the 2016 Acceleration (85% Grenache and 15% Syrah) boasts a deep ruby color as well as notes of kirsch, dried soil, and savory spices. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, and elegant, it's another beautiful wine from winemaker Aaron Jackson that will cruise in the cellar on its balance and purity."
- Item #: i_241130Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 96JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "This estate hit a home run with these latest 2016s, and the charming, more supple style of the vintage worked perfectly with the more savory, classic style preferred by McPrice Myers. These are unquestionably the finest wines I've tasted from him, and readers should snatch up these wines."
"Another best to date is the 2016 Hommage a Stevan Larner, which is 64% Grenache and 36% Syrah brought up mostly in neutral barrels (15% new), sourced all from the Ballard Canyon region of Santa Barbara County. It offers truly spectacular notes of assorted darker fruits, toasted spices, dried meat, and white pepper. Rounded, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully layered, it reminds me of a great Châteauneuf du Pape. Drink it any time over the coming 8-10 years."
- Item #: i_241050Bottle Size: 750mlOur buyer was visiting/touring/tasting around the Paso Robles region when McPrice Myers was rebranding a few of his wines. Two of the wines were just about to be bottled, and Mac invited our buyer to the winery and taste them, and of course our buyer went (if you've ever had Mac's wines, you know why this was a no brainer). Vis-a-vis their pricepoints, our buyer felt that Mac's "Blue Collar Series" (of which he makes a Cabernet, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Grenache-blend) far exceeded anything else he tasted on that trip!
A blend of 48% Grenache, 24% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre, 10% Petite Sirah, and 4% Graciano, this has aromas and flavors of macerated cherries, strawberry reduction, sweet spice, spring flowers, plum tart, melted licorice, and fresh herbs. The palate has an exuberant, sweet approach, with a long, mineral-laced finish.
- Item #: i_257740Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 90Owner/winemaker Curt Schalchlin has rapidly made a name for himself within the "Cal-Rhone Community" as one of the best producers of Syrahs, Grenaches, and blends. His Groundwork label presents one heck of a value, and while that is no slouch, the Sans Liege wines really showcase his abilities.
JEB DUNNUCK 90 POINTS - "Based on 39% Grenache, 36% Syrah, and 25% Mourvedre, the 2018 Offering sports a deep ruby color as well as lots of pretty blackberry, blueberry, peppery herbs, and subtle meaty aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with plenty of fruit, good acidity, and a clean finish, this solid Rhone-like blend will keep for 4-6 years."
- Item #: i_276520Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "Jeremy Weintraub has a magic touch in crafting wines that are rich, vibrant and yet also highly site-specific."
"The 2016 Grenache Larner Vineyard is a total rock-star wine. Bold, punchy and explosive, with tremendous fruit density, the 2016 just has so much going on. The purity and depth of the flavors is just tremendous. Ripe red plum, mocha, spice and dried flowers are some of the many aromas and flavors that pulse through this heady, exotic wine. This is a decidedly creamy, sumptuous style, and it works beautifully."
- Item #: i_257880Bottle Size: 750mlA blend of 76% Grenache, 19% Mourvedre, and 5% Counoise, the 2019 Patelin de Tablas Rose is a vibrant light peach color. On the nose are spicy aromatics of nectarine, grapefruit pith, sea spray, and crushed rock. The mouth is bright with flavors of yellow raspberry and blood orange, with mouthwatering acidity giving focus to a long finish with flavors of lemon drop, briny mineral, and a little rose petal florality. Drink now and over the next year.
Tablas Creek Vineyard was founded by the Perrin family of Chateau de Beaucastel and Robert Haas of Vineyard Brands to produce California's best examples of southern Rhone varietals and Chateauneuf du Pape style blends. The partners chose a 120-acre property in the limestone hills of west Paso Robles and imported new clones of Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, etc., from the Beaucastel estate, and farms their estate organically.
The vineyards and resulting wines showed such purity, intensity, and complexity that the neighbors of Tablas Creek began to plant new vineyards using vines that were propagated from those Beaucastel vines. Tablas Creek's Patelin red, white, and rose are made from grapes harvested from their neighbors' vineyards, and these have become some of the best values in the entire Paso Robles region! This year, it was their rose that stood out like a full moon on a clear night.
When you drink French rose, Grenache or Mourvedre are typically the dominant grapes, so it makes sense that Paso Robles (being a hotbed for Rhone varietals) would make their own roses. We have sampled quite a few of them this year, and while there are definitely some winners, Tablas Creek's is at the top of our list! Dry, crisp, and lower in alcohol (13.0%), this wine definitely is French in style!
- Item #: i_268760Bottle Size: 750mlConsisting of 53% Grenache, 43% Mourvedre, and 4% Cinsault, this Bandol-inspired Rose is a beauty, featuring aromas and flavors of citrus and stone fruits, highlighted by cherry, watermelon rind, grapefruit, nectarine and peach flavors. The wine has firm balancing acidity and both inviting aromas and a long finish on the palate. The medium bodied frame is layered, textured, balanced and elegant, and the wine will drink well on release or age for 5-7 years. It is a perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of seafood, pasta and fowl and best served at or slightly above cellar temperature.
- Item #: i_270950Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 95JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "Composed of 58% Grenache, 27% Syrah, 11% Mourvedre, and 4% Tempranillo, the 2017 Willow's Cuvee offers a complex, exotic bouquet of red plums, raspberries, licorice, ground pepper, and loads of floral notes. Rich, medium to full-bodied, pretty, and elegant, it's another beautiful wine from this estate to drink over the coming decade."
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 94 POINTS - "In just a few short years, Don Burns has pushed his Turtle Rock wines into the upper echelon of Paso Robles. This year's set of releases matches up nicely against the work of any other winery in the region. Burns is able to source fruit from some of the Central Coast's most vaunted sites, including the James Berry, G2 and Adelaida vineyards. The emphasis here is on producing wines of energy and fine detail, aided by fruit grown in the cool, limestone-rich soils of the Willow Creek and Templeton Gap sub-districts on the west side of Paso Robles. Burns also works extensively with whole-cluster fermentations and raises his red wines in large-format oak barrels of varying age, mostly neutral (the only 100% new oak wine here is the G2 Syrah 'because it can handle it'), which Burns thinks helps to emphasize the wines' purity and expressiveness, even when they are young. It's also worth noting that pricing here is extremely fair given the quality."
"Deep crimson. A sexy, expansive nose evokes smoke-accented red and dark berries, allspice and a hint of potpourri. Sappy, well-delineated black raspberry and cherry preserve flavors show lively mineral lift and no rough edges. In an ample but energetic style, finishing sweet and impressively long, with just a hint of fine-grained tannins."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Willow's Cuvee is made up of 58% Grenache, 27% Syrah, 11% Mourvedre and 4% Tempranillo. It was made with 22% whole cluster and aged 22 months in 60% new oak. Medium ruby in color, it has a very high-toned, floral and amaro-laced nose with notes of prosciutto, bacon fat, powdered sugar, bitter citrus peel, scorched earth and leather. Medium-bodied and silky, slowly unfurling to savory and earth-laced fruits, it has a gently grainy frame and well-woven freshness, finishing spicy. 234 cases were made."
- Item #: i_295720Bottle Size: 750ml2017 is the second year of fruit off the hillside planted Grenache at Zotovich Vineyards. Picked in late October, this wine was slow ripening, and as such, shows a lot of depth throughout. A voluptuous nose of raspberry and cream continues to a body of bright red fruit with enough tannin to give the fruit structure. The finish sees the fruit and tanning meld together to create the feeling you just took a bite of fresh raspberry cake. It was aged in 100% neutral French oak puncheons, and only spent 8 months in barrel before bottling to retain its freshness.