Another Paso Robles Winery Question (with specifics)
Next weekend the wife and I are going to swing by Paso Robles on the way home from a Big Sur weekend. We have only been down there once 2 years ago (live in the SF Bay Area).
We plan to go back to Denner (and have an appt) which we loved.
We went to Tablas Creek last time and weren't that impressed. It was a bit crowded and the wines weren't as solid across the board.
We wanted to go to Justin but it looks like that is their harvest weekend.
We would like to find 2 - 3 more wineries to visit in addition to Denner. We enjoy:
Syrah over Zin (though one quality Zin place isn't terrible); Pinots are also great
More European style (earthy and dry over fruity and heavy)
We also appreciate oaky chardonnays and crisp acidic sauviogon blancs
We will buy bottles in the $20 - $60 range. Denner is our $60 place so would like to find some places that had quality bottles in the lower price range too.
Any suggestions for places to go would be appreciated.
You might get more response on the California Board where questions about Paso wineries are discussed regularly.
The folks at Justin suggested we go to Halter Ranch, and we REALLY liked their wines, as well as their welcome.
Here's a recent thread on the California board on Paso Robles:
My recommendations are already in there so I won't repeat them all but since you said you like Syrahs, I'll point out that Brian Benson does a nice one. Eberle might be a good value stop too. They make a lot of varietals, do most of them well, are among the most reasonably priced wines from Paso Robles, and are also one of the oldest wineries there.
Villa Creek Cellars
These are my favorites in the area plus the already formentioned Denner (Antoine is a great guy and talented winemaker). Also, Lone Madrone is making some really interesting wines, but they aren't getting the Parker or WS scores. Just in the area yesterday. Suggest you go to Villa Creek Restaurant and talk to their sommolier, Eric, and have a few glasses there to see what trips your trigger.
Have been going to the area for wine for over 20 years now and have developed relationships with many winemakers there, so I may be a bit biased.
More European hmm....L'Aventure maybe?
You may also want to try Epoch, Terry Hoage and Villa Creek (Denner is a favorite and the three I just listed are as well).
If you're a zin lover, then a stop at Dover Canyon is a must. Besides Dan's jammy, Cujo, he makes some old vine zins that are so bright, they're almost electric. Really, IMO some of the best dn Zin anywhere ( very small production). The tasting room and winery are pleasantly quaint and picturesque. Beware of the very large friendly dog!
So after all the great tips (and thanks Ed for directing me to the Cali board), I think we have an itinerary for next weekend. I was curious what folks thought. As a reminder we will be coming from the south (coming from Big Sur via 46 and then heading back north to the Bay Area):
(1) Denner (have an appt at noon - but will likely try to get there earlier)
(2) Oso Libre - seems like a nice point for a good variety
(3) Pick up some food at Di Raimondos
(6) Halter Ranch (if we are feeling it)
4-5 is probably a good number for us - but I was curious if there was anything else worth squeezing or replacing...