Paso Robles Highway 46

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Second day of tasting in Paso Robles. Decided to focus at wineries along highway 46 which runs East to West as highway 101 runs North to South. I assumed visiting wine country in the Autumn would be full of cool, crisp days in the countryside. Not in Paso this week, today the temperature made it to 97º (36º for you foreigners) in the afternoon and that’s hot. Did begin the day visiting the Warbird and exotic car Museum in the East side of 46 where I began wine tasting and headed Westbound for the day and finally ending at some tasting rooms in tow.

Eberle Winery: First stop on the highway, the “godfather” of the Paso wine industry.

2014 Viognier “Mill Road Vineyard” Yellow with earth and honeysuckle on the nose, earth notes on the full and balanced finish.

2013 Sangiovese Dark brick, spicy black vanilla and cherry on the nose, dusty tannin on the moderate to long finish.

2013 Syrah “Steinbech Vineyard” From the 2nd oldest syrah vines in North American so I’ve been told, dark purple with a big perfume of toasty crushed black berries, chunky with big tannins at the end.

Peachy Canyon: Family owned winery on highway 46.

2012 “Especial” Low production of three zin lots,  dark purple, cooked vegetable on the nose, starts out juicy, tightens up with cola flavors and moderate tannin and acid at the end.

2011 “Para Siempre” All five Bordeaux grapes, dark red, green bell pepper on the nose, tight, concentrated with dill notes on the moderate to long finish.

2012 “Vortex” Zinfandel A blend of four single vineyard zinfandel, dark purple with crushed red berry and mint on the nose, dusty, dark chocolate on the finish.

Caliza Winery:

2013 “Sidekick” 140 cases mad, mostly Roussanne, deep gold with a stinky nose with full, rich fruit and some sweet notes on the finish.

2012 Primitivo Estate wine, dark purple with a big nose of cooked vegetable, chewy and chunky, big fruit, juicy, dark plums and nicely balanced.

2012 Syrah Estate wine, dark red to black, warm graphite on the nose, thick, concentrated and chewy, good balance.

Four Lanterns Winery: From the Willow Creak AVA, about 750 cases total produced.

2014 “Apricity” Picpoul Blanc, light yellow, dried herbs on the nose with tart lime notes on the finish.

2013 “Shadow” Grenache/Syrah blend, dark red to black, red leather on the nose, slky red leather on the fruit and green herbs, nice balance.

2013 “Firelight” Syrah, decanted, dark red to black, nose of crushed black fruit and mint, silky red fruit and nice balance.

Tooth & Nail Winery: Low key winery, big castle with a moat.

2013 Stasis Viognier Murmer Vineyard Light gold to greenish tint, white flowers on the nose with full tropical fruit flavors with some peachy notes on the finish.

2012 Stasis Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley Big old school Chard, vanilla oak, buttery finish.

After touring the wineries I usually head back to town to end the day at the urban wine trail. Usually the wines aren’t impressive. While wandering around I stumbled on a couple of off the radar tasting rooms that would be worth a visit if you are in the town of Paso.

Paso Under Ground: A small sign on the sidewalk directs you to walk through a clothing shop with a back room with a terrace with four tables staffed with small, independent producers pouring their wine. I stopped at Copia Winery which had the owner/winemaker as well as the owner of the back room Michael Dewiit pouring his wines. At 200-300 cases total production from the Willow Creek AVA for the year, these wines are extremely limited.

2014 “The Reason” 100% Viognier, yellow with a greenish tint, some green vegetable notes on the nose, rich fruit with good acidity and green apple notes on the finish.

2014 “The Answer” GSM blend, black in color with green, black fruit on the nose, thick and chunky, mint notes with good acidity on the finish.

2013 “The Blend” Another GSM blend, black with a purple robe, crushed green, red berry on the nose, big and juicy with moderate tannins and acids on the finish.

Another sign on the sidewalk pointed you to an entrance in an alley for Taste in the Alley. Small, brick-lined room that’s actually a wine shop but they will open any wine they have for a glass. I had a glass of the 2010 Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir.

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