- Item #: i_211280Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 91Each year, Ancient Peaks crafts the limited-edition Oyster Ridge cuvee to exemplify their finest winemaking efforts. The name Oyster Ridge honors an outcropping that always astonishes visitors to their estate Margarita Vineyard. Here, large white oyster fossils are literally spilling out of the ground, fostering the type of calcium-rich soil that is coveted by winemakers worldwide. The 2016 vintage is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec, all from meticulously farmed vineyard blocks cultivated for the Oyster Ridge program.
The 2016 Oyster Ridge offers a sumptuous bouquet of black berry and black currant with notes of creme de cassis, violets, vanilla bean, cedar and graphite. On the palate, the wine is exquisitely dense and integrated, showing chewy layers of black fruits interwoven with accents of caramel, mint, cinnamon spice and new oak. Fine-grained tannins and sleek acidity bring a resounding conclusion to what is nothing less than a blockbuster vintage for Oyster Ridge. This is a wine that will generously evolve in the bottle for years to come.
- Item #: i_277500Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93-95Vinous Media: 95ANTONIO 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."
- Item #: i_277570Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 92-94 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."
"Lastly, the 2017 Estate Cuvee shows the effects of the heat spikes and has some firm, angular tannins that are buffered by lots of blackcurrant fruit. It has classic graphite, licorice, and lead pencil aromas, medium to full body, and good length, yet it's certainly not going to make you forget this brilliant 2016. Nevertheless, my money is on it being an outstanding wine."
- Item #: i_277540Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsJEB 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."
- Item #: i_241190Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 92A 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.
- Item #: i_258900Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94-96Jeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 97 POINTS - "According to Justin Smith, in 2016 'just about everything that could go right, did.' A relatively rainy winter helped boost groundwater supplies, and a warm spring set the stage for normal budbreak and fruit set, with no weather events to spoil the party. The summer was warm but not hot, and sugar levels rose steadily while acid levels held firm. The resulting wines are rich and fruit-driven, for sure, but they are remarkably fresh as well."
"Brilliant purple. A complex, intensely perfumed bouquet displays candied black and blue fruit, vanilla and musky earth qualities, while violet, licorice and dark chocolate nuances build in the glass. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering impressively concentrated, mineral-laced cassis, cherry compote and fruitcake flavors that are given spicy bite by a peppery flourish. Tightens up slowly on a wonderfully long, chewy, floral-dominated finish that's framed by talc-y, well-knit tannins."
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "Speaking about the 2016s, these are the strongest set of releases since the 2007s, and I suspect at maturity these wines will be even better. They have a rare sense of depth and richness paired with purity and precision, as well as singular characters, and these truly are special wines. The 2016 James Berry is quite possibly the greatest wine ever produced from the region and is a legendary wine in the making. Do whatever you can to latch onto a few bottles of this magical elixir. The majority of the 2016s will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age, but good luck keeping your hands off of them."
"Leading off the 2016s and checking in as interesting blend of 46% Mourvedre, 19% Syrah, 15% Tempranillo and the balance Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Zinfandel, the 2016 Paderewski shows how good these eclectic blends from the west side of Paso Robles can be. Offering a rocking bouquet of ripe currants, plums, forest floor, truffle, and orange zest, this beauty has no hard edges and offers full body, incredible intensity, and a seamlessness pared with density that needs to be tasted to be believed. This hedonistic yet also elegant 2016 benefits from a decant and has a good 10-15 years of prime drinking ahead of it."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94-96 POINTS - "The 2016 Paderewski Vineyard is lovely, revealing complex aromas of ripe black fruits, licorice, aromatic bark, candied peel and dried flowers. On the palate, it's full-bodied, layered and savory, with rich structuring tannins, excellent energy and concentration and a long, stony finish. It's a blend of 46% Mataro, 19% Syrah, 15% Tempranillo, 8% Petite Sirah, 7% Zinfandel and 5% Grenache, maturing in 16% new puncheons, 67% foudre and the balance in used wood. The 2016 will be bottled this June."
- Item #: i_275640Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsTablas Creek was founded by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel and their importer, Robert Haas. The goal was to produce California's best examples of southern Rhône varietals and Chateauneuf-du-Pape style blends. The partners chose a 120-acre property in the hills of westside Paso Robles for its similarities to Chateauneuf-du-Pape: limestone soils, favorable climate, and rugged terrain. Tablas Creek emphasizes dry farming (no watering) to seek maximum expression from their grapes, and they farm organically. Their signature white is named Esprit de Tablas, and is modeled after the Beaucastel wines from the Rhone Valley.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93-94 POINTS - "Light green-tinged gold. Mineral-accented tangerine, melon and pear scents on the highly perfumed nose; a floral nuance gains strength as the wine opens up. Vibrant citrus and orchard fruit flavors are joined by bitter quinine and honeysuckle flourishes that build slowly with air. Shows impressive depth as well as nerviness on the finish, which hangs on with strong, mineral-dominated persistence."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Esprit Blanc de Tablas is made up of 68% Roussanne, 17% Grenache Blanc, 7% Picpoul Blanc, 4% Picardan and 4% Clairette Blanche. The nose features honey-drizzled apples, lychee, orange peel and musk with warm hay, crushed stone, quince and pie crust notions. Medium to full-bodied with intense honeyed flavors in the mouth, it has great juicy acidity to counter and a long, gently textured finish. "This is the first vintage of the Esprit de Tablas Blanc to have Clairette and Picardin," winemaker Jason Haas says, "because we wanted to include all the white grapes from Châteauneuf-du-Pape." 2,250 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Esprit De Tablas Blanc offers more richness and depth, which is largely missing from many of these wines. White peach, quince, honeysuckle, and hints of stone fruits all emerge from the glass, and it's nicely textured, medium-bodied, has good acidity, and a clean finish. The blend is 68% Roussanne, 17% Grenache Blanc, 7% Picpoul Blanc, 4% Picardan, and 4% Clairette."