Thursday, January 19, 2012
On The Paso Road Again..Part 2
In case you wondered.....yes....our wine tasting day started out COLD.....FREEZING cold in fact...but knowing we would soon be warmed by the winederful wines we would taste........
(fountain at the Courtyard by Marriott)
SO MANY GREAT WINES......so, I'll try to point out the highlights....get those salivary glands and sensory nerves working...so YOU get out and go to see, smell, sip, swallow, savor, salivate :)
MY OH MY!
First off, a wonderful meeting with Peter, Epoch's assistant winemaker, who graciously spent a huge amount of time barrel tasting the 2010 EPOCH line up with us!
What can you say! HOW do I review something that is well.... INCREDIBLE!!! Each and every one of them.
Zinfandel (of course, an homage to Paderewski's Zinfandel from his vineyard)! Were those musical notes I heard while sipping, closing my eyes and taking myself into a state of euphoria?
Veracity...an incredibly huge, fragrant, age worthy, Grenache based bend.
Authenticity...mostly Syrah....HUGE! Big. Fruity. Spicy. Chewy. YUMMY! Certainly authentic.
Tempranillo....ready to go as far as I am concerned......get those glasses ready.
and, my personal favorite of all the Epoch wines still being:
Block B Syrah! Forget describing this one! You NEED to try it...and hooked you will be!
Each wine with its own distinctive characteristics.....but one thing in common: They ALL have that WOW factor! Looooooong finishes....complex.....layered, changing flavors. To sum up what my wife said to Peter: "How about you just pick a barrel of each and put them in the car right now." Oh heck...just leave us in the barrel room with a straw! What a way to start the day! Look for these upon release down the road.
NEXT UP: BRIAN BENSON!
Brian spent quite a lot of time out of his busy day to explain his entire story...originally intending wine making to be a means to an end (supporting his car hobby)....which now has turned into making some GLORIOUS wines! Well regarded, well rated.....MY personal favorites being
his 2008 Denner and Glenrose Syrahs!
Full bodied, great nose, great mouth feel, one exhibiting a wonderful earthiness and minerality weaving in with the dark fruits, the other slightly sweeter. No...I won't tell you which is which....you will just have to taste them for yourself.....side by side. Brian keeps his wines in barrels longer than most----and the result is a drinkable wine immediately upon arrival! Thank you Brian for your story, and hospitality.
Of course, NO trip to Paso would be complete without sitting in Lynne Teckman's dining room (or by the fireplace, or out by the pool), leaving nothing "per cazo" and introducing new people to Lynne's hospitality and wonderful, drinkable wines. Normally....Epi Telos is my favorite....but on this trip, Confluent stole the day. In fact, I am sipping a glass of that as I write this. And yes, PER CAZO (meaning by chance) is the winery--but Lynne and her winemaker leave absolutely NOTHING to chance in creating their winederful lineup of liquid heaven.
The day being over....back to our hotel, for a well deserved nap---and then....Dinner at Thomas Hill Organics, which was reviewed in Part 1.
Up early the next morning to meet Maggie and Bob Tillman at Alta Colina. Starting out with a quite informative vineyard tour...Bob explaining the vines, the pruning, the growing, the training, the terroir, the slope...everything that is involved in the ground and above the ground that nature provides (or not) to help create wonderful fruit which then turns into wonderful wine! Bob and Maggie have a way to make the most complicated details understandable.
Of course...after the vineyard tour..it was time to taste a glass or six.....
again.....a few personal favorites:
2009 Toasted Slope Syrah----a chewy, full mouthful of Syrah...exhibiting wonderful "Syrah like" characteristics.
and...the 2008 GSM.....a quintessential Paso GSM blend...with just about equal parts of each grape. Have you tried it? Well..if you haven't...tooo late...we bought his last '08's!
Bob...teasing...saved the best for the last. A not yet released NEW wine! The color of golden honey, with residual sugar of 17.5gm. In the mouth....liquid honey! WHAT a sweety! This is Bob's new
2010 Late Harvest (100%) Viognier. Pure gold.....honey.....a total delight....and a perfect way to end a meal....and end several days......sipping this (and I am not a sweet wine drinker)...it was nirvana.
As all good thing come to an end, it was time for the trip back home....leaving wonderful friends, wines, food.....but with the knowledge....that we'll be back---
to savor the delights of what Paso has to offer in terms of its people, friendliness and of course.....wines!
What is the definition of a good wine? It should start and end with a smile.~William Sokolin
And this trip (as it seems all Paso trips do)....started with...continued with...and ended with...
a smile :)
and...I hope I have put a smile on YOUR face...and you have enjoyed my comments....