Tasting Report: Wines of Paso Robles, 2013 Releases

Paso Robles is an interesting and surprisingly varied winegrowing region, and recently I had the opportunity to taste through wines from a number of winemakers based in this mid-California coastal region.

From Albarino to Petite Sirah, these wines are all over the map, but they share one thing in common: the toasty environment of Paso in their DNA.

Thoughts on all wines tasted follow.

Tasting Report: Wines of Paso Robles, Grand Tasting Tour 2013

2010 Alta Colina Old 900 / $48 / B+ / licorice, charcoal, some dusky cherry (95% Syrah)
2010 Alta Colina Toasted Slope Syrah / $38 / B+ / dense, more raisin character here, some woodiness
2010 Ancient Peaks Renegade / $23 / B / very juicy, bit of dust (Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot)
2010 Ancient Peaks Oyster Ridge / $50 / B / a bit of stone fruit on the back end (Bordeaux blend)
2012 Burbank Ranch Summertime Grenache Blanc / $34 / B+ / floral, big body, some earth
2012 Burbank Ranch Summer Moon Sauvignon Blanc / $28 / A- / lemony, very tart, lots of acid
2010 Burbank Ranch Fortunate Sun Cabernet Sauvignon / $36 / B+ / light, lovely body with flowers and strawberries
2010 Cass Cabernet Sauvignon / $45 / C+ / very vegetal nose, green body, less funky on the finish
2011 Clayhouse Estate Cuvee Blanc / $23 / B / from the top supplier of table grapes in the US; fairly buttery, not too fruity
2011 DAOU Grenache Blanc / $36 / B+ / lots of butterscotch and caramel, minimal acid
2010 DAOU Petite Sirah / $32 / A- / big chocolate character with some coconut
2010 Halter Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon / $32 / B / a bit of cough syrup sweetness (blended with Malbec and Merlot)
2010 Halter Ranch Ancestor / $50 / B / really minty, herbal and thick (Cabernet, Petit Verdot, Malbec)
2009 J. Lohr Cuvee POM / $50 / A / inspired by left bank/Pomeral wines; great blend, lovely balance with chocolate notes
2009 J. Lohr Cuvee St. E / $50 / B / inspired by St. Emelion; more tart, lighter body
2009 J. Lohr Cuvee PAU / $50 / B+ / inspired by Pauillac; modest, age-worthy, with some smoke
2010 L’Aventure Optimus / $45 / A- / intense, lots of body, plums and some smoke (55% Syrah, Cab, Petit Verdot)
2010 L’Aventure Estate Cuvee / $85 / A / dark and deep, dense with cocoa and complexity (42% Surah, 42% Cab, 16% Petit Verdot)
2010 Proulx Dimples / $40 / A / lots of distinct fig notes, very intriguing (Grenache, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, etc.)
2011 Silver Horse Albarino / $27 / B+ / much citrus, some herbal bits
2009 Venteux Cabernet Sauvignon / $48 / B+ / some tartness, cherry, lots of berries, bits of tobacco
2009 Venteux Petite Sirah / $46 / C / minty nose, then over-sweetened on the back end

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