2017 Tablas Creek Grenache Blanc, USA, California, Paso Robles

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Grenache Blanc doesn't get enough respect.  That may be because in Europe, it doesn't do as well and is used as a blending grape, seldom on its own.  In California, however, there are many examples of Grenache Blanc being bottled independently and some of those are quite good.  This is one of them.  Tablas Creek specializes in Rhone varietals and while this wine is not sold en masse, it is available at the winery.  Light golden in color.  The nose has nice pear notes with some anise and slight salinity.  On the palate, the pears continue along with some honeydew notes and underlying chalkin

2016 Torrin The Banshee, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This bottle saw about 6 hours of air prior to be served.  That helped but it was not enough.  Torrin wines are fantastic but they do take time.  They are tight and tannic and concentrated on release and proper cellaring is rewarded.  Absent that a long decant is advised.  This wine is 40% Syrah, 33% Mourvedre, and 27% Grenache.

2004 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This was possibly the oldest EdB I have had and it was great.  Showing a bit of age but certainly not over the top.  Pop and pour, it improved on opening and then held constant for the evening.  Purple in color, some bricking at the rim.  The nose has cherries, some black cherries and baking spices.  On the palate, this has a nice texture.  Still lively but balanced acidity.  Cherries with a bit of earthiness and the baking spice finishes the palate.  I doubt it gets better from here but it certainly seems like it would have at least five more years before a slow decline.  This will go grea

2012 Saxum Broken Stones, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

Saxum is one of my favorite wineries so no surprise, but this is outstanding.  It has really opened up since last tried reinforcing my belief that despite what some say, these big reds are best after ten years in a good cellar.  This is made from 79% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah and the rest Grenache, Mourvedre and Roussanne grapes.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, white pepper, roasted meats and slight violets.  On the palate, the texture is wonderful.  Velvety with excellent acidity.  Complex and layered, this unwinds in the glass.  And, it is delicious with black raspber

2011 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

This was a difficult vintage in most of California, but Saxum seemed to handle it just fine.  The wines, do, however, seem to be drinking a little earlier than most vintages.  The 2011 Saxum's are ready to drink but no hurry on any of them.  This one has at least another decade but it probably won't get better.  That is fine because it is outstanding.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, smoke, black cherries, red currants and slight bacon fat.  On the palate, there is nice black raspberry fruit with some black cherries over some pepper and charred earth.  A nice backbone of a

2014 Torrin The Banshee, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

Another stunning wine from Torrin.  Still a bit young but starting to show some development especially with a few hours in a decanter.  This is 50% Syrah, 26% Mourvèdre and 24% Grenache.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with a  meatiness reminiscent of the northern Rhone but vibrant fruit that says California sunshine.  There is also some black pepper, plums and slight floral notes.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Black raspberry fruit intertwines with black pepper over a smoke and earth base.  It is pretty big right now with firm tannins.  This should continue to develo

2013 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

40% Mourvedre, 28% Syrah, 22% Grenache, and 10% Counoise.  This is still pretty young but quite delicious.  Sort of like a California version of a Chateauneuf du Pape.  Deep ruby in color with some purple swirls.  The nose has cherries, plums, cedar, spice and slight cocoa powder.  On the palate, the spicy red fruits dominate at this stage.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This has tight layers that unwind in the glass.  This will work with a wide variety of foods.  It may improve a bit from here but easily has a decade and probably two left in it.  

2013 Mojo Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

Poured at a Friday Wine Store Happy Hour, this is a ripe, slightly sweet, easy drinking Cab.  A classic, it is what it is wine to take or leave.  I liked it but the group I was with was divided.  It sells for around $15.  Inky purple in color. The nose is warm, dusty with black cherry fruit.  It drinks easy and would go well with food off the grill.  Juicy ripe black cherry fruit with light tannins on the palate.  At age 6, it should probably drunk sooner than later.  

2017 Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas, USA, California, Adelaida District Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$32.00USD

This is basically the second wine of Esprit de Tablas from Tablas Creek although they make a lot of different wines, not all available without being in their wine club (highly recommended).  This sell for around $30 and can often be found at retail shops.  It is young and will likely improve a bit over the next few years.  Screw capped!  Grenache, Syrah, Counoise and Mourvedre.  Whereas the Esprit can be compared to a Chateauneuf du Pape, this is more like a better Cotes du Rhone or even a Gigondas.  It has a deep ruby color with some purple swirls.  The nose has black cherries, slight eart

2009 Torrin The Maven, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Torrin makes some of the best Syrahs.  They are starting to get more respect from the major critics but they still don't have the buzz of some other wineries.  That is good for those people looking to get on the mailing list or not pay three figures for a bottle.  If there is a "complaint" it is that the wines are concentrated and backward and in need of cellaring to get the most out of them.  That is difficult because they are so good on release.  Somehow, however, I managed to make this one last.  75% Grenache, 25% Syrah.  Purple in color.

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