I simply adore this event as it is a day to, shall we say, "honor the rhone grape varietals" that have helped to make the Paso Robles wine region famous. Of course, as most of you already know, we pretty much owe the Rhones in the region to Tablas Creek. Here's the basic story:
|Photo of Tablas Creek's GM, Jason Haas along|
w/ wine club assistant Dani - both pouring for
Tablas at the event.
Once Tablas Creek fully planted their vineyard, they asked themselves, "Should we keep these vines to ourselves or should we share?" Thankfully, they shared! They set up a nursery and sold cuttings of their grapes to many neighboring wineries in the area.
Fast forward to now, and we have Saxum Winery winning "Wine of the Year" in the Wine Spectator Magazine last year with a GSM blend (Grenache, Syrah & Mourvedre.) Now that definitely put Paso on the map! - Not only informing people that we grow the Rhone varietals well here, but we do make some great, kick-ass wines :)
So yesterday was an "ode to the Rhones" where all the wineries who are part of the Rhone Rangers Organization could come out and pour a few of their wines. They got to show off their Rhone based wines and as Boyfriend said, "Wow - these are some of the best wines from the area!"
Before we went, Boyfriend counted that there were 44 member wineries that are a part of the Paso Rhone Rangers Chapter. We then counted that we have visited 28 of those 44 - pretty darn good! It was our goal for the day to check out the wineries that we had heard good things about, but hadn't had a chance to try ourselves yet - and what a great opportunity to be able to do that!
First up: Kaleidos Winery. They had poured at the Paso Garagiste Festival but I had missed them - doh! But today I finally got my chance.
|Steve from Kaleidos|
|Kevin from Proulx|
|Amparo of Minassian-Young|
Amparo (owner of Minassian-Young along with her husband, David) was pouring three wines - Grenache, Mourvedre, and their "Cuvee de Paso" - a Mourvedre based GSM blend. The Grenache was super lovely. Now I must admit, I am biased as Grenache is probably my most favorite varietal. But because of that, I am super picky about Grenache wine. Boyfriend and I were both on board, fully in love with this. It has that licorice quality that some Grenache wines get - all in a good way. And at just $24 a bottle, I can't tell you what a great value that is. Beautiful wines on a beautiful property - I highly recommend that you go visit Amparo & David Thurs.-Mon. at their winery on Peachy Canyon Road.
Now of course I also had to visit a few of my favorite wineries - I couldn't miss the chance to catch up with them and see if they were pouring any new releases. I first tried to visit Maggie at Alta Colina, but the crowds were too great! They're so hip now that they were featured in Wine Spectator with great scores. Here's a photo os the mob with Maggie holding down the fort:
L'Aventure pouring their wines. The fabulous Kendall was super helpful as she knows I'm addicted to the L'Aventure wines. First up, I was able to try their new Roussane - it has 18% Grenchace Blanc in it. FABULOUS! It's amazing how even though the Grenache Blanc is only 18%, you could really taste it in the wine.
Next up the '09 Cote a Cote, a GSM blend that received 95 points from Wine Advocate. I LOVE this wine, always have and probably always will. My issue is that it is $85 a bottle and on a tasting room girl's salary, well, "sigh." But that's definitely why I took advantage of being able to taste the Cote yesterday - and I savored every drop. Here I am with my glass of Cote a Cote, my favorite wine of the day:
Cypher Winery (where I used to work) and I ended up helping her pour for a little while as they were super busy. It was great to catch up with her and try a few of their new releases again. I think their Mounvedre is my favorite, and their Grenchae and the Kiler Canyon Syrah/Mounvedre blends are both excellent! Great job, team Cypher!!!
And btw - I have to point out how much I love the new Cypher Labels - they all glitter a little with metallics in the ink:
Now before y'all start yawning that my blog is going on too long, I'm going to hit you with a few photos of the day of my favorite peeps in the wine industry:
The fabulous Staci from Clayhouse Wines - and guess what? Clayhouse is pouring Tannat on their tasting menu right now. Go over there and try it!
Neil & Marci from Lone Madrone - hey guys, thanks for the fabulous industry party the other evening! The blog on that is coming soon :)
Mr. Lindsey from Halter Ranch Vineyards, pouring the halter ranch Wines - great job, Lindsey! Apologies that I got so caught up talking to people I didn't come over and give you a break.....bad Sarah......
Boyfriend and Seth (Tasting Room Manager @ Halter) hanging out trying some vino together:
The sweet guy from New Orleans who handed out Mardi Gras bling to everyone - thank you! Literally everyone was wearing the bling - too funny. You'll see the necklaces again for tomorrow's Mardi Gras!
Boyfriend and I with our buddy Jason from Zenaida Cellars. I was bummed I didn't really have time to taste their wines again - Jason, I'll stop by soon!
And finally, my buds: Ted from Cass Winery, Mr. Glenn from Justin Vineyards, and the fabulous & famous Bobby Fox! Along with Kate from EOS and her husband Jamie who works at Firestone.
A big "Thank You!" to the Rhone Rangers for hosting such a great event. Not only was it educational, allowing me to try new wines in the area and find out about wineries that I haven't been to yet, but it also allowed me to catch up with a lot of folks. Another amazing day in the Paso Wine region!
Viva la Rhones de Paso Robles!!!