A grouping of standouts from last night’s SOLD OUT Esprit Du Vin thrown by Paso Robles Wineries East in Riboli Family Wines’ beautiful brand new event center in Paso Robles. I’m used to people messaging me after events: How was this-How was that? but the number of queries on this one is out of control. Maybe it is because so many labels no one has seen before? or maybe so many brands people HAVE seen and just never tried? Either way, there were a good chunk I had never had before and even quite a few I had never HEARD OF before. So here’s my compilation of goodies:
The SAN SIMEON Stormwatch flagship Bordeaux blend (yes, all 5–about 50 cab, 1/4 ME, good chunks of Bec and PV and only 5% CF) will set you back 70 bucks and easily clocks in with the big boys of Paso Robles. Funny thing: I don’t think I have ever seen this trotted out with the 100-dollar-ish Paso blockbusters, and that needs to change. GORGEOUS STUFF! Beautifully done, checking off ALL the boxes for a Meritage like this, and the winemaker is from BDX, so…
LUSSO DELLA TERRA is a big custom crush in San Miguel, and they were showing off a few of their own labels. The Syrah and Viognier were classic old-world charm.
Oh boy this PENMAN SPRINGS Reserve Cab really REALLY impressed. Tied for WOTN with the Glunz Zin. Nice tight Cab fruit with plenty of petrichor and mint and nice oak. NOT a huge flabby Paso Cab. Total classic style. And it’s $35! FIND IT.
How do you even TALK about 46 Eastside wineries without mentioning EBERLE WINERY?!?! Steinbeck Syrah showing beautifully as always and I even got Gary’s autograph! Just kidding… it’s just “free tasting” scribbled on the back of a card but a girl can dream, right? This thing is in every supermarket across the country for 20 bucks and just SLAYS it.
BARR ESTATE WINERY represents one of those *never heard of* entries of the evening. Snooping around their wines and website has me quite curious and I think a visit might be necessary. They were pouring a 2012 Malbec that will make you re-think the variety. Ridiculously well done.
Cruisin past the TOBIN JAMES CELLARS booth I hear “pssst, hey kid…wanna taste something good?” and from under the table comes this Rhone blend I’ve never seen or heard of before–yes even Counoise and Cinsault–if you can’t find it where you live, get on their club. I know what you’re thinking, but this thing will make you re-think Tobin James. No, really. You didn’t even know they made a 60-dollar wine, did you?
Pretty sure Wine Of The Night for me here at Esprit Du Vin has to be the GLUNZ FAMILY WINERY Dusi Zinfandel, as it impressed me the most. I see that “Grog” or whatever they sell at Christmastime and I think they can’t possibly be a serious winery, but OH MAN was I wrong. I didn’t come to this event to drink Zinfandel because… to be frank: Zinfandel and Paso Robles and me typically don’t get along very well but this thing is SCREAMIN. Beautiful green-briar with a touch of vegetal on the nose oh, pretty pretty pretty fruit but not slutty in the least. Solid, action-packed dark dark berry all the way through the mouth with a beautiful streak of tannins. And it’s only 14-7. Color me impressed.
One of several new kids for me at the event, RIO SECO has been around forever, and I’ve driven by a million times… finally got a chance to taste. NICE cab franc. Very nice.
I have a soft spot for MADDALENA VINEYARD as they’ve been a solid, well-priced, well-made, well-distributed supermarket GO-TO for DECADES. I honestly didn’t know our host for the evening MADE it, and the label has changed a little over the years, but visiting it again last night reminded me it was still a friend. This stuff is 15 bucks!
ESPRIT DU VIN 2019 IS A WRAP! They were already selling tickets to NEXT YEAR’S event last night at the close of the show, and with the new venue and the steam this year has built, ESPRIT DU VIN 2020 will sell out even faster. A really nice event, with lots of great food, live music and good wine. I can’t even remember the last time I was at a wine event and NO tickets were available at the door. Follow their Paso Robles Wineries East FaceBook page for notifications, or: Tickets for NEXT YEAR’S event are already on sale here: ESPRIT DU VIN 2020