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On Sunset's recommendation, I further explored the Paso Robles wines. To my pleasant surprise, these wines are simply delicious and versus other California regions, somewhat cheaper for the quality. To Sunset's request on not putting the secret out... Rolleyes I feel that I must do so as the secret is widely out and so it seems in Quebec (of all places). The more I look, the more I find!!! On the weekend, I purchased 2 of Justin winery's (Justification and Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon), both in 2011 and I did buy 12 bottles of the Justification because it is my grandson's first name Justin and he was born in 2011.... Also a Syrah from 10 Upper Bench ('05), Austin Hope Grenache ('11), James Berry's Copain ('09), L'Aventure's Estate Cuvée ('10) & Optimus ('10), I just replenished both L'Aventure because I really enjoy the complexity of these wines. I also saw a lot of different J.Lohr products that I do believe to be a decent buy for the mid-range to higher priced. The lower end is somewhat of the ''new generation'' of wines to sort of please the newer red wine drinkers (excuse the expression or my French), a ''style'' that I do not enjoy so much. I also noticed a Conundrum Red that is a blend (??) that comes from this region and Conundrum is owned by Caymus of Napa Valley (Great House). I have also received 2 bottles from Proulx Winery as a gift... I will post my tasting notes as I pull the lids off. Again, Sunset, sorry for the dispatch of this (not so closely) guarded secret and for all... Cheers and enjoy!!!
Big Grin

Here are a few more to keep your eye out for...

Denner Vineyards http://www.dennervineyards.com/
Ever hear of a company called Ditch Witch? This is the guy. The Dirtworshipper, Mother of Exiles, and Grenache are extremely good. These folks also run one of the finest B&B's I've come across(Comus House). The accommodations are first rate, and more importantly, The innkeepers Ron and Felisa Johanson are absolutely wonderful people. Felisa's apricot/cream cheese brioche is to DIE for! Here's a pic of the view right outside our door.
[Image: comus_zpsb1a90ac4.jpg]

Linne Calodo http://www.linnecalodo.com/
This one falls into the slightly esoteric unobtainium category because they only produce 1200 cases/year total. But it seems you have at least some access to these type of wines, and Linne Calodo wines are SoOOooOOOoo good they're definitely worth the effort to hunt down. "Problem Child" is my fav. 72% zin 20% granache 8% mourvedre.

Law Estates http://www.lawestatewines.com/
Big HUGE reds that will benefit from a few years of cellaring. I figure I'll start popping my current allotment by about 2018 or so. Unless of course I can't wait that long.

Missing Leg http://www.themissingleg.com/ourwines.html

Best kept secret in Paso imo. This guy is an excellent winemaker and a fabulous human being to boot. His Pinots are definitely of the New World type which may not appeal to hard core oenophiles, but his St Peter of Alcantara vineyard Syrah + beef is a match made in heaven.

Here are a couple more I've yet to sample. Mostly because of their unobtainium status and resultant pricing structure.


Almost forgot about these folks...

Daou Wine http://www.daouvineyards.com/Our-Story

This guy is absolutely on the right path. His reserve Cab is one of the best in the region and his blends are superb. AUX, 1740, and Soul of a Lion are very, very high quality big reds. He also has built one of the finest tasting rooms in the area...which cuts both ways. On one hand, if you're there during a slow day, you get all that loveliness to yourself. But since it's so nice many folks make their stops here and some of them are downright obnoxious! Mrs Sunset and I were there 3wks ago and had a wonderful time. But we were there last year when two(count em TWO) huge stretch limos full of totally blitzed bachelorette party gals showed up and proved beyond a shadow that some folks should just say no.

All the names provided are not available in my part of the world Sad...
Had Justin's Justification last night and the comments from all 3 of us, is we enjoyed the wine. It is a very nice assembly, Bordeaux Right Bank style, that is not overpowering being Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Some cherry and strawberry on both the smell and taste, minor spices and mineral with a finish that is somewhat short and acidy, not many tannin or wood on the finish. It certainly could use a couple of more years being a 2011. But, then again it was very soft and enjoyable right from the start as it was not de-cantered. I do not believe that it will last for many years, as I originally intended to put some aside for my grandson.
Agreed on Justification. The Isosceles is a much better buy&hold proposition.

Here's another one to look out for...http://www.epochwines.com/

Epoch is a real dark horse. The 2010 estate blend(voted top 25 in the world) and the 09 Tempranillo are outstanding. Funny story: You know how sometimes your palate just isn't firing on all cylinders? Last year we stopped by Epoch and thought the wines were just OK, but still just barely good enough to buy a couple bottles to take home. About a month ago I popped the Tempranillo on a week day. I chose it that day because the day was nothing special, so a nothing special wine would suffice. Aaaaaand HOLY ****!!! It was HUGE, chewy, and absolutely delicious. I know the 5mo it spent cellared can't account for it, so that's how I know my palate was waaaay off the day we visited the winery. In actuality, I killed a very nice wine far before it's time.Confused
Sunset, I do think that we are all the same.... when it comes to tasting. I have misjudged and declined some outstanding wines before myself. I still am upset some days...Smile But again, some days you just smell it and you don't even have to taste it, it just flows everywhere. Other days you could ''whack'' yourself on the head with the bottle (make that a case) and you would not feel for it at all... So talk about not firing on all cylinders... Other than what we eat, drink, chew or smoke that day before the tasting I do think that my brains are not firing at all some days Huh.
BUT, one thing that I have learned over the years is to pay attention and to ask questions about what they do to the wines you taste at wineries. Are they cooled, were they corked and ''gassed'' to keep the freshness from day to day, how long have they been opened or just plain out on the counter with a cork somewhat pushed back on. You know if their is a lot of traffic in the tasting rooms, this should not be a problem, but. This is why I am always on the lookout for what they do to their wines or just play dumb ''Oh, by the way, can you conserve a bottle once open''. You would be amazed at some of the answers.
Again, how many times do you pull a cork, decanter and on especially the tempranillo wines and some of the Bordeaux blends, they are somewhat ''flat''. I have been a huge fan of Spanish wines for many years and this tempranillo can play tricks on you, they will open up after a bit of oxygen or they will just plainly bite you on the initial tasting.
To get back to Justin's last night, after about 2 hours in the original tasting glass (that I always keep aside with a couple of onces on new wines) this wine was flat... It was dead.
Many thanks for the Epoch Winery web site... I am still drooling!!! But, NOT in this part of the world Sad... I mean Sad Both QC and Ontario do not have them.
I sure I hope I never have to explain all the sticky notes in my purse with the wine information.
(02-21-2014 09:25 AM)2Beers Wrote: [ -> ]I sure I hope I never have to explain all the sticky notes in my purse with the wine information.
Sticky notes being the ones taken when tasting... This is easy, if you enjoyed the wine you just say so!!! Tongue If the notes are what you paid for them (a little on the high side, maybe) make them disappear now!!! Angel Unless you want to pass them on to the accountant.
I may need to start a notebook in my smartphone just for all the wine stuff Im getting. All good stuff but its hard to keep track of sticky notes. Much easier to log them down and make notes as you try each one.

Of course it helps to have a cell phone that does that sorta stuff.
A couple more to look for...


These folks specialize in softer, (mostly)ready to drink wines, and their pricing structure is def on the value-conscious end of the spectrum. In order for me to classify a winery as truly outstanding, most if not all of their offerings need to appeal to me. Dover Canyon doesn't quite make that grade. However, their straight Zinfandel varietal from the Dusi vineyard is excellent! I always, always, always, make sure to have at least one bottle on hand.

And since we're talking outstanding Zins today, here's another one of my favs.. http://www.brochelle.com/

Their estate Zin is incredible, but bang for your buck wise, the straight Zin is where it's at. This wine is so good I've never once paired it with anything, preferring to let it shine on it's own. Oenophile's candy boylemmetellyawhut...

*side note*
This is one of those interesting wines that def does NOT benefit from decanting. It dries out very quickly and loses it's special flavor profile.
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