It's Sofa King Suite in Paso Robles
Trip Start Jun 22, 2010
27Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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Unfortunately, the day greeted us with rain and did not look likely to subside. Mike and Katie still wanted to seize the opportunity to take the Pacific Coast Highway down to Cambria and then cut over to Paso. Mike and I knew that on such a day many vistas would be lost in the rain and that the route would be slow and hazardous with its hairpins turn, so we opted to take the less scenic and quicker 101 route. We left about 45 minutes after our guests and arrived less than 2 hours later. We called them when we arrived and knew it would still be close to an hour before they would be able to meet us
I really enjoy the Paso Robles wine, yet I still have not gotten a good consensus on what the region is known for. A lot of tasting rooms will say Zinfandel while others boast the region’s Cabernets and Rhone varietals. Although not very descriptive, I find that I enjoy their blends the most. I feel like wine makers in Paso tend to have more fun than winemakers in other regions as the tasting rooms are full of unique blends. Although the host at Lone Madrone picked Zinfandel as the region’s star, the first two wines of the tasting reconfirmed my theory on blends. The first wine made with Garnacha Blanca and Albariņo was followed by the Points West White (Roussane, Viognier, and Picpoul Blanc grapes). I loved the mouthfeel and the complexity of the latter and put a big star on my tasting notes. Mike loved their Syrah and Mouvedre blend, the Points West Red, before I fell in love with the 2005 Cab. The nose hinted at spice while berries, clove, and chocolate mingled on the palate before a late hint of vanilla. Yum! So our day of tasting began with buying three bottles of wine.
Just down the road we met Katie and Mike at Four Vines’s Cypher Winery tasting room
We checked into our hotel and consolidated into one car just as the sky opened up once again. Our next stop was Calcareous, a winery that’s been on my "To Do list" for awhile. The driveway wound up to a hill top tasting room. We tried not to be disappointed by the weather as we could only imagine the majestic views awarded on a clear day. I was delighted to discover the owner was one of the pourers as this always enriches a tasting experience. The wines lived up to their hype. Mike loved the cherry and chocolatey Cabernet, which was superb but I picked the more complex Meritage as the tasting’s winner. In the end, these two bottles plus their Tres Violet, GSM, joined our growing stash
Thatcher Winery, a small fairly new family run winery was our next destination. The owner’s children played outside and the owner, Sherman, greeted us from behind the tasting bar. It was fun to try two different styles of several varietals including Viognier, Zinfandel, and Syrah. Katie and Mike K. really liked their KR Viognier and the Paso Syrah though I was not surprised to discover that I preferred the Monterey County Syrah to Paso’s. However, we all loved the Controlled Chaos, a blend of Zinfandel, Mourvedre and Grenache. The in-your-face flavors included cherry, berry pepper, spice and vanilla with a wonderful long, lingering finish. Although the wine juggled multiple layers it was so balanced that Controlled Chaos was in fact the perfect name. And I look forward to revisiting this wine after a chaotic day.
We saved one of my husband’s all-time favorite tasting rooms, Chronic Cellars, for last. We had bought a couple of bottles of their Dead Nuts Zin when we lived in San Diego. Mike enjoyed the wine so much that he had ridden his motorcycle down there shortly after we moved to Monterey. Besides the unique tasting room, their prices are fantastic and the wines are smooth, fruity and yummy
Thanks to Katie Kiefer for the letting me use her photos!