2003 Saxum Cuvée Rocket Block James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles - Wine Review

Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+

An old friend.  It had been years since I have had this vintage.  saxum has only made Rocket Block a few times and this was the first.  50% Grenach, 40% Mourvedre, and 10% Syrah.  The label says 16.6% alcohol.  Those people who said these won't last can take hike.  This bottle is still young and amazing.  Of course, if you didn't like the style young, you might not like it older although this is not the hedonistic bomb it was in its youth.  It still packs a punch though.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, black pepper, slight earthiness, violets and char.  On

2015 Cline Cellars Cashmere Black Magic

Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

I really liked this wine and find it to be an exceptional value.  While the exact cepage is unknown to me, there is some Syrah and other Rhone varietals (and perhaps some Petite Sirah), which I love.  YMMV.  For under $20, however, it is hard to argue the QPR.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, a bit of black pepper, some dark cherries with a bit spice.  On the palate, this falls just short of being jammy.  It is deep with good acidity.  A delicious wine that is great for a BBQ or holiday party.  I wouldn't age it for more than a few years, but I would be curious about it. 

2014 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, USA, California - Wine Review

Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

There was a time that I drank a lot of this wine (back in the early parts of this century).  It had been a while but this seemed to still have that level of quality.  At under $20, this is a very nice value for people who like ripe California Cabs with a bit of oak and lots of fruit.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, fresh cut lumber, spice and cherries.  On the palate, the juicy red fruit takes a more predominant roll with just a touch of oak in the background.  Mild tannins.  Nice finish.  All in all, easy drinking wine made to share with lots of friends.  

2014 Booker Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon The Ones, California, Paso Robles - Wine Review

Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+

Wow, who knew they could make a Cabernet this great in Paso Robles.  Just a stunning bottle of wine that will no doubt earn a perfect score with just a bit more time in the bottle.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, baking spices, and a bit of cedar.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this has a lovely juciness to it.  Lots of cassis fruit.  An underpinning of earth with plenty of structure.  There is a lot of oak showing but it all came together with some swirling in the glass.  No doubt a couple of years and this will be close to or seamless.  It works with food.  Nice finish.  As I said,

From Start to Finish: A Conversation with Thérèse Martin of Martin Ranch Winery

The winding, tree cocooned Redwood Retreat Road in Gilroy, California, snakes its way alongside Little Arthur Creek and steadily climbs up 600 ft. toward Mount Madonna. Once home to the widow of famed writer Robert Louis Stevenson, this southern neck of the Santa Cruz Mountains continues to lure day trippers, adventurers and cyclists. For two weekends each month, wine enthusiasts heed the call to likewise abandon their GPS and take this less travelled path to experience the award-winning wines of Martin Ranch Winery .

50 California Central Coast Wines You Should Be Drinking Right Now

The California Central Coast, identified as Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo (and its main wine region Paso Robles) and Monterey is California the way it used to be, or at the very least, California the way people want it to be: small towns, charming architecture, varied history of Missions and Indians, and coastlines for miles; a slow pace, clean air and a belief that no one real really works very hard. But the area has been home to grape growing since the Spanish brought vine cuttings from Spain via Mexico in the late 1700s and winemakers and vineyard managers have been working hard ever since. To celebrate this beautiful region IntoWine.com offers these 50 wines that represent the diversity of the California Central Coast.

Top 25 Most Awesome Tasting Rooms in California

Wine tasting is not merely the act of drinking wine, it is the total experience and that includes the physical space you are standing in when sampling Sauvignon Blanc or pondering Petit Verdot. Most wine tasting rooms seem like afterthought - a utilitarian, banal footnote to the wine itself. So...

Q&A with Nicholas Miller of Bien Nacido Vineyards - Santa Barbara County

Bien Nacido is not only the most well-known and respected vineyard on California’s Central Coast, but is has the distinction of being one of the major viticultural nurseries in California for certified, varietal budwood. In addition to Bien Nacido, the Millers operate two other vineyard sites, French Camp east of San Luis Obispo, and Solomon Hills in Santa Maria, with well over 2,500 combines acres, as well as two custom crush facilities in Santa Maria and Paso Robles. Bien Nacido was called on of the top 25 vineyards in the world by Wine & Spirits Magazine, and Food & Wine Magazine called them one of the ten best vineyards. The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast routinely award over 90 point scores to wines made from Bien Nacido fruit. Bien Nacido is the most widely sourced vineyard on the California Central Coast. Certainly with 800 planted acres it produces a lot of grapes, but beyond that, why is Bien Nacido so sought after? Bien Nacido seems to have that magical formula of making wines with a sense of place. Long term customers, such as Jim Clendenon of Au Bon Climat say they can pick a Bien Nacido Pinot Noir out of a blind tasting. Whether it’s cool climate Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or another varietal, our winery customers enjoy receiving product that is uniquely Bien Nacido.

Q&A with Jerry Lohr, Founder of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

Jerry Lohr is considered one of the pioneers of California Central Coast wines. In the late 1960s, he began investigating grape growing regions while searching for the ideal location for a vineyard. Raised on a South Dakota farm, his research led him to the Central Coast. He originally planted 280 acres in Monterey County in 1972 and unveiled his San Jose winery the following year. In 1987, he planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other red varietals in San Luis Obispo County’s then little-known Paso Robles region. Today, in addition to over 1,300 acres in Monterey County, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines farms 2,300 acres of estate vineyards in Paso Robles, and 35 acres in the Napa Valley, and has tasting rooms in Paso Robles and San Jose. J. Lohr wines are available throughout the United States and in over 30 countries globally. In 2007, U.C. Davis honored Jerry with its Award of Distinction, and in 2008 he was named Wine Industry Person of the Year by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. There are over 6,000 bonded wineries in the U.S. from every state in the nation (not to mention fierce competition from abroad). Is the U.S. wine business currently saturated? I am very supportive of evermore wineries. More wineries mean more locations where people can have a wine experience. People always take pride in their local wine. Wine tourism has the best multiplier effect of any agricultural product. Anyone having a good wine experience then passes it on to friends. Word of mouth is great.

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