Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paso Robles, Day 3 - A Day of Wining

On our final full day in Paso, we sprung out of bed (really!), grabbed breakfast, & headed out onto Highway 46 West.   We were going to find Four Vines, damn it! was only 9:30 when we found it, & the tasting room opened at 11:00, not 10:00 like we were hoping.  So we drove farther down 46 & saw some spectacular scenery.   Admittedly, it was much like what we saw the day before, so just go back to the last post to take a peek if you missed it.  It's just so different from what  I see here in Missouri, or anywhere else I've been for that matter.

We were heading back towards the wineries when we saw a guy putting up his "Open" sign on a small winery, & we thought that was perfect timing.  Well, we thought wrong.  That winery - which shall remain nameless (unless you are planning a trip to the area, then feel free to email me) - was a total bust.  Blech.  We ended up buying a bottle...Doug said that he hated to lose the tasting fee, & we could always pour it as, oh, a 4th or 5th bottle.  Or perhaps as a gag.

Redemption was just up the road at a little winery called Lone Madrone.



(It didn't hurt that the wisteria smelled so nice!)



We hadn't even made it inside yet, & we were already completely taken with the place!  We thought it was cool that they had chickens & baby goats...



Finally, we walked inside.  What an oasis!  We were welcomed with the faint scent of lavender when we walked in, & the tasting room was gorgeous.


At this point, the wine could've completely sucked & we wouldn't have cared.  The joint just oozed goodness.  Had I done my research, I would've known that the owner is the winemaker at Tablas Creek!  Hearing that simple fact was a promise in itself - we knew great things were coming!

We were right!  Everything we tasted was outstanding.   Our favorite was their Zinfandel, Petite Sirah,  & Barbera blend, the 2006 Barfandel.   I know, I know....they really could have come up with a better name.  I mean, really -  Barfandel?   In the end, a name is just a name, & this wine proved that.  It's delightful, & we're looking forward to actually drinking it.  Now, the issues are when, what food to pair it with, & who to share it with (if anyone!).

I could go on & on, but there are other places to talk about!

Like Four Vines... It turned out that it was very easy to spot from the road, & we were excited to be there.  I've talked about Four Vines a lot on this blog.  If you love Zin (& oh, do I ever!) or other big reds, you should always have something from this winery on hand.  They not only produce superb wine, but the prices are very reasonable, so there's no excuse.

The tasting room was in the process of being renovated, so it wasn't that impressive to look at.  BIG DEAL.  (It will be, by the way, once it's finished!)  All that meant to us was that we didn't have too much to take photos of (& therefore less to show you).  We were able to revisit our favorites like "The Biker" & "The Maverick", & taste the harder-to-find-in-St. Louis "Anarchy" (a Rhone blend) & "Heretic" (Petite Sirah).  Mmmmmmm.....  There are also a bunch of others that we don't get at all here; for example, their Tempranillo "Loco", the "Phoenix" Syrah, & the "Monarchy", a blend of Petite Verdot, Malbec, & Tempranillo.  If I only had 1 word to describe all of them?  Sublime

They had soil samples from their 4 different areas.  Not your usual garden soil, that's for sure, but that's to be expected.  The vines produce higher quality grapes if they have to struggle.


Sorry, I only remember which ones were from Paso - the ones on the end.


Just imagine trying to grow anything in that soil!

Even though the tasting room was in transition, it was still a party! We had fun glasses. We got tattoos...


Ok, fake ones, but they lasted for several days!

Our tasting room hostess-with-the-mostest Holly was so much fun.  We hope that she'll be there when we go back next time.


In the end, we brought back "Monarchy" & the 2006 "Los Alamos Vineyard" One Tree Hill Block Syrah.  That 92-point Syrah won the 2009 Hospice du Rhone Syrah Shoot-Out, & it's truly fantastic. 

Believe it or not, there's still more to go, but I'll end this post here.  Sorry it's taking me so long!


WineLush said...

Barfandel? Hmm.

LOVE the tats!

bring the bad wine to a family get together and give it to the Natural Light swilling cousin or uncle or something. Or to Aunt Edna who puts her red wine on ice. ;)

LucyinStLou said...

Lone Madrone sounds fabulous! Did you bring anything back from there?

Claire Uncorked said...

WineLush, my tat rocked. I also got a shirt that says that...but currently, it's too small. Whoops.

Lucy, OF COURSE! We bought 3 bottles...the rose'(which rocked!), the poorly named Barfandel, & something else...but I can't remember what & don't feel like heaving the boxes around to see.