Paso Robles tagged posts

The Best Cabernet Value in the U.S.

December 17, 2015 90+ Bargains  No comments

Daou_14CabSauv_750ml_ftDaou wines has arguably the most stunning property in Paso Robles.  The winery is perched at the top of a mountain at 2200 feet above sea level, with panoramic views of Paso below.  It's that elevation that allows them to grow amazing Cabernet in an area that's usually too hot to produce great Cabs.

At $22, which is the lowest price in the country, this is the greatest value in California Cabernet.  This wine has something that virtually all Cabs, and indeed most wines in this price range, are lacking: character and uniqueness.  The nose is outstanding with fruit, oak, and spice blending to create something really special.  On the palate, it's just top-notch Cabernet; seamless and textured.

The lowest price in the country, a 91-93 point rating from the Wine Advocate, and an

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3 More Winners from L’Aventure (Up to 98 Points)

July 6, 2015 High End Values  No comments

EstateCuvee2013v65The latest release from my favorite winery unfortunately comes with a significant price increase.  For better (for the wineries and the region) or for worse (for the savvy consumer), Paso Robles is now on the map and top wineries have taken note.  L'Aventure, along with Booker, Saxum, Torrin and a handful of others, have waiting lists so long, they could double their price and still sell out.  So are these wines still buys?

To put things in perspective, the top wine from L'Aventure is $90.  The same quality in Napa, would cost 3-10x.  Better yet, their entry bottling, Optimus, which drinks better than 99% of the wines from the region, is $47 and at that, can still be called a value.

Another year for L'Aventure came with another round of huge scores, with a barrel sample of the

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One More from L’Aventure – ’11 Optimus (RP94, $41.95)

November 22, 2013 High End Values  No comments

L'Aventure BottleYou could say this is becoming the Paso Robles wine blog, and I wouldn't blame you.  But when the most exciting wines in the country are coming from that region, I consider it more of a public service announcement.

The latest Paso deal comes from my favorite winery in the world - L'Aventure.  For more on this incredible winery click here to read all the posts I've done.

Optimus is L'Aventure's entry-level red, but entry is relative in this case, as this wine really drinks as well as just about anything out there.  At $41.95 it also isn't particularly cheap, but it's certainly well worth the price.  L'Aventure's lowest Wine Advocate score in the 2011 vintage was this wine.... at 94 points.  Many wineries  never get a single score like that.  Furthermore, Optimus has a history of

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Visit Paso Robles to Participate in a Wine Revolution

October 11, 2013 News and Opinion  No comments

We've been hearing about the Rhone Ranger movement for a while.  These prophets of Rhone varietals, which the rest of the world has enjoyed for centuries, have been expounding their virtues when grown in the U.S.  Indeed, great Syrah and Grenache has been grown here for a while, specifically in Sonoma, Washington's Columbia Valley, and Santa Barbara County.  Enter Paso Robles.

Halfway between San Fran and LA, Paso Robles has long been the home to generic "Central Coast" Cabernet and Zinfandel vineyards, but a shift towards the west side, to an area known as the Templeton Gap, has Rhone fanatics excited.  Greats like L'Aventure and Saxum paved the way close to 20 years ago for new wineries like Booker, Denner, Epoch and Torrin.  During a summer trip in July we visited these wineries

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A Deal From My Favorite Winery: L’Aventure

June 10, 2013 High End Values  No comments

2010 OptimusA quick search on Nickel and Dime Wine reveals that I've written about Paso Robles' L'Aventure winery on six separate occasions.  Stephan Asseo embraced the limestone hills of Paso's west side long before this area was known for $80/bottle Rhone Ranger blends from the likes of Saxum, Booker and Epoch.  Today,  the west side of Paso is cranking out some of the best and most desirable wines in the country, but L'Aventure has been doing it since 1998.

Much like most of Europe (you know, the guys that have been making wine for a thousand years), Paso winemakers have abandoned varietal labeling in favor of blends that showcase site over grape.  L'Aventure is one of the few Paso wineries to successfully use Cabernet, blending it with Syrah and Petit Verdot to make their signature Estate

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How About a 91pt Red from Tablas Creek For $17?

March 18, 2012 Daily DrinkersHigh End Values  No comments

Tablas Creek is one of my absolute favorite producers in the United States. It's partially owned by the famed Perrin family, who brought their rootstock over from Beaucastel Vineyard in Châteauneuf du Pape with the goal of establishing a viticultural area of similar prestige.  Finally now, Paso Robles is becoming the go-to region for domestic Rhone style blends and Tablas Creek has a lot to do with that.

Their Esprit de Beaucastel bottling is widely considered one of the best wines from Paso Robles, but at $50+ it's not for everyone (though I still consider it a value at that price).  Until the 2010 vintage, the estate grown Cotes de Tablas bottling was their entry level wine, but as their vines aged, the quality of (and demand for) this wine increased.   So, Tablas Creek saw an

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If I Could Get Only One Wine for Christmas…

December 8, 2011 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  2 comments

L'Aventure's 2008 Estate Cuvee would be it.  I've been telling anyone who will listen to buy this wine and with the price now down to $59.95, it makes a perfect gift for a friend or yourself!  Most retailers are charging over $70 for the 2008 vintage and the recently released 2009 vintage, which received the same score, is going for $85-90.  You can read up on what makes L'Aventure's Cabernet/Syrah blend so awesome in one of my previous posts here.

Paso Robles is heating up and I predict that this wine will be mailing list only soon.  It certainly won't be available for under $60.  This is an incredibly unique, rich,and mind blowing (but sophisticated) wine that I personally find unrivaled. Just look at how the reviewers rave about it.  Do a friend, or better yet, yourself a favor and

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Revisiting a Top Value: Titan Hills Fiasco by Tobin James $6.99

April 26, 2011 Daily DrinkersWines under $10  No comments

Many of our readers had great things to say about the 2008 Titan Hills "Fiasco" by Tobin James.   But I heard some tried to place orders and the giant stack of cases I saw when I bought it was already gone.

Well it's back at the same price.  You can read the full post here, but the summary is "The Prisoner for one fifth the price".  This wine is one heck of a value.  For those that missed it, have at it!  For those that already tried it, I'm sure you will be back.
Buy Here: Tobin James 2008 Titan Hills “Fiasco” Red Blend $6.99

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A $7 Daily Drinking Fiasco from Tobin James

March 10, 2011 Daily DrinkersWines under $10  One comment

Tobin James is known for their Zinfandel, Syrah and their "country party" themed tasting room in the heart of the Central Coast's Paso Robles wine region.  If you're ever in the area, it's worth checking out their tasting saloon and picking up one of their signature star patches for the memory book.  Their wines are well reviewed, popular and range in price from $12 to $150.

Producers like Tobin James are often contracted to make wines for "private label" applications at grocery stores or restaurants.  Rumor has it, Tobin James created the Titan Hills label for one of those private label projects, but somehow the deal fell through, so we the consumer are left with an incredible value they call "Fiasco".  Maybe the name hints at how this wine made it to the market?

This weekend, I

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The Paso Robles Rhone Revolution: L’Aventure Wines

March 7, 2011 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  One comment

I wrote about what makes L'Aventure Winery's wines so unique last May, but since barely anyone read this blog back then, I think I'll revisit.  My hope is that our thousands of weekly readers can get to know these wines and will come to enjoy them as much as I do.

Stephan Asseo, the French winemaker and owner of L'Aventure, is leading the Paso Robles charge as the Rhone style capital of the United States.  Though some of Asseo's wines feature Cabernet, Rhone varietals are his focus - the "special sauce" for his wines and the Paso Robles AVA as a whole.  A Paso wine earned Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year honor, with Justin Smith's 2007 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, but luckily for those of us who aren't on their mailing list, Saxum isn't the only game in town.

How L'Aventure is still

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