This weekend we were off to Paso Robles to explore some more of their 250+ wineries. Friday we re – visited some of our favorites. Terry Hoage, Kukkula, Hearthstone. We stopped in at Whalebone and Niner. Saturday we used A Safe Way Limousine Service as our designated driver. We wanted to spend the day exploring new wineries. We started at Robert Hall followers by Mitchella, Vino Robles, Denner, Jada, and Arroyo Robles.
Did I say I love Paso?? Well, I love Paso. I love the wines, the great people we have met and the wine tasting experience that is Paso. Robert Hall Winery was the first stop of the day and it didn’t disappoint. Christina welcomed us and introduced us to Robert Hall wines. When she found out it was our first visit to the winery, she gave us a tour of the their wine making process. Robert Hall has a 19,000 sq ft. cavern underneath the tasting room. There are 4,000 barrels of wine stored there. And, it is available for event rental. There are two tasting list. The House Tasting is $5 and the Reserve Tasting is $10. The fee is applied towards any wine you purchase. Since it was our first time, Hill and I decided to do both list. The House Tasting had reasonable priced quality wines. My favorites were the 2012 Viognier. The aromas of honeysuckle and orange gets your attention. But it is the flavors of tropical fruits, apricot and peach on your tongue that makes you think of summer. $20 retail. The 2012 Zinfindel, 2012 Cuvee de Robles and 2011 Syrah are all worth a taste. On the Reserve Tasting list there are 5 wines you have to try. I couldn’t decide between them so I ended up buying one of each. The 2011 Cavern Select Grenache is a even balanced, well structured wine full of flavors of plums, cherries and spice. The 2011 Pape de Robles is a GSM blend with a twist of Petite Sirah. Flavors of Blackberry, pepper and spice, made this my favorite on the list. The 2011 Meritage is a Bordeaux style blend. My tongue enjoyed the flavors of plum and lite tannins. Let’s not forget the 2010 Vintage Port. It is made from five traditional Portuguese grapes. It’s not heavy and syrupy. It is fruity with a velvety finish.
Christina was nice enough to suggest some of her favorite wineries. One of which was Mitchella. Mitchella just happened to be located right behind Robert Hall. Sherri and Laurie welcomed us in. They were fun and funny. I had fun talking about their wines and enjoying the day. I thought the wines at Mitchella were decent wines that were reasonably priced. I liked the 2011 Cheap Bastard, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2011 Rambunctious. The 2010 Innuendo Noir was my favorite but at $45, I thought it was a little too expensive.
Next on our list was Vina Robles. Vina Robles has a 2012 Vermentino on the tasting list. It is an Italian varietal that you don’t see very often. The bouquet of pears, cantaloupe and citrus was delicious. At $18 I couldn’t say no to a bottle.
Doc and Troya brought the cheese and crackers and I bought the Chemay (blue label). It was the perfect break from wine tasting and we finished just in time for our 2:30 appointment at Denner Vineyard. Denner has a “Comus” theme. I won’t ruin it for you. You will have to go and investigate on your own. Denner also has a four bedroom B & B where the rooms are named after their wines. Speaking of the wines, most of their wines are Rhone blends. The 2012 Theresa is a white varietal Rhone blend. The 2012 Viognier is 100% Viognier, 2011 Ditch Digger is a GSM with Cinsaut and Counoise. The 2011 Dirt Worshipper is Syrah and Viognier. I enjoyed their wines but I thought they were over priced. The Ditch Digger was my favorite but at $63 I had to pass.
On our way to Arroyo Robles we came upon Jada and decided to stop in. This is why I love Paso so much. Its like a box of chocolates……. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by Ari. Ari has a wealth of knowledge about Jada wines and he was very engaging and personable. Jada has two tasting list. The Reserve tasting is $10 and the “Signature Series” is $15. Along with your tasting you get a cheese pairing with the wine. Ari brought me up to speed on the use of concrete in wine making. My favorites were their 2012 XCV is a white Rhone blend that is fermented in concrete. That’s right, no oak and no stainless steel, concrete. The 2011 Hell’s Kitchen is a GSM with the Spanish varietal Tannat added. 2011 Stratys is a Bordeaux style wine, the 2010 Malstria is also a Bordeaux style with a little Tannat added. I enjoyed all of their wines. I think they are priced a little towards the high end but I couldn’t leave without taking a few bottles home with me.
Last stop of our tour was at Arroyo Robles. There were seven wines on their tasting list. A 2011 Albarino, 2008 Chardonnay, 2009 Viognier, 2007 Tempranillo, 2007 Petite Sirah, 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2007 Blend called “Little Star” made of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo and Merlot. Arroyo Robles also has a Grand Cuvee sparkling wine and an Almond flavored sparkling wine. I wasn’t a big fan of anything that was being poured.
Jada, Robert Hall and Mitchella Vineyard are the “need to visit” wineries we discovered this weekend. I enjoyed the tasting room experience and the wines. Robert Hall’s 2011 Papa De Robles, 2001 Meritage and the 2011 Strayts from Jada were my favorites of the day. I’m always interested in hearing about your experiences
Ciao for now