Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Paso Robles, Day 2 - Far Out & Then Some

As I said before, Doug & I didn't have a rigid agenda for our trip. We had a few wineries that we really wanted to go to, & then we were going to trust recommendations from there.

One of those recommendations was Tolo Cellars. In a very rustic setting on Adelaida Road, Tolo is a very tiny winery, but big on personality. Tolo is a one-man operation, so obviously, we were able to meet winemaker Josh Gibson.

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His tasting room is such a charming place! We felt like we were in a small farmhouse in Provence (even though we've never been to such a thing).

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What French farmhouse would be complete without a cat?

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Like his tasting room, his wines were also very captivating. Josh didn't have a lot of wines, but the quality more than made up for the quantity. After much consideration, we bought the 2001 Asini...largely because of Josh's tasting notes: Be practical for just a moment: You’ve always wanted to age a wine, but you never do. Oh, you mean well, & no sooner has that kindly salesperson said, “Lay it down for a few years & you’ll earn your just rewards,” than you have popped the cork for a taste that you so richly deserve! No need to worry here: We cellared this wine 7 years & 4 months before bottling. How utterly impractical! The result is a wine with as much youthful exuberance as a Jonas Brothers entourage. Like the thick cherry compote that jumps off the nose, you want to spread it all over your scones. Think big viscosity, rich red fruits - berries, berries & very cherry – a dollop of cola, dried herbs & sweet leather. How did we arrive at this sock hop? And did we mention this wine is nearly 8 years old?

And no, he didn't have me at the Jonas Brothers reference.

Tablas Creek Vineyards intrigued us because of its heavy French roots. The original vines were imported from the owners' property in France, Ch√Ęteau de Beaucastel, & they chose Paso Robles because of its similarity to Ch√Ęteauneuf du Pape. We're fans, so we had to check it out!

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It's sad to say, but my photos hardly do justice to reality.

Inside, the wine list was extensive, & many of those wines were available to taste. We at least liked every single one of them, but as Doug was often quick to point out, we couldn't buy everything or join every club. Boo. Tough choices had to be made!

The tasting room had references to Tablas Creek's "sister" labels:

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This one should look familiar to readers of Lucy's blog...

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(Yes, I miss her too, & no, I don't know when she'll write again.)

While we were contemplating what to buy, we had to pet Millie.

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We made a stop at Whalebone Winery, once again off of a recommendation. Why is it called Whalebone? Because whale fossils were found in the vineyards. Pretty cool, huh? Anyway, we couldn't resist picking up a bottle of the cult favorite, Bob Wine. Bob is a former Ob-Gyn doc (& rumored to be one-handed) & now the owner & winemaker, & the wine is a delicious blend of 61% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Petite Verdot, 13% Zinfandel, 7% Syrah.

Here's Bob's wife, Jan.

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We hit 1 or 2 other places, & then decided to try finding our beloved Four Vines. We entered it into our rented Garmin...& we either took a very wrong turn or it led us astray. We ended up taking a mysterious & scenic drive.

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We drove along the narrow dirt road that seemingly led to nowhere, & I popped out to take the photos above....until I remembered rattlesnakes, & that was that!

We had plans with Angie for the evening, so we met her at Villa Creek for a most delicious (& potent) margarita before going back to Pianetta. We met Caitlyn Pianetta, the winemaker's daughter, & from there, we all decided to go to Bernick's for some grub & more cocktails (again, feel free to judge). Here's the only picture from that night I'm willing to share with you...& it's of Angie & Caitlyn, not us!

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The food & atmosphere at Bernick's are outstanding, so if you ever find yourself in downtown Paso, do yourself a favor & stop in.

With that, our second day in Paso Robles came to a close, & we were happy to head to bed with hopes of having a day that would be just as great the next day!

4 comments:

WineLush said...

Boo on the Garmin!! But the rest of the day sounds great...and yes, I LOVE those wine notes. Did you taste it there as well?

LucyinStLou said...

Tolo and Tablas Creek were two of our favs! The winemaker at Tolo was so nice.

Danny said...

Your travels sound like they were da BOMB!!!!

prashant said...

Did you taste it there as well?

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