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Friday, October 17, 2008

Paso Robles, a tale of two cities! Part 1

Well it was a vacation, anniversary celebration and wine tasting week all rolled into one. The place, Paso Robles. Our trip took us up the five, (the passage through LA, terrible) through the grape vine and crossed over on the 46 heading west. Initially you pass my many vineyards but alas those grapes have a different destination other than wine (or at least we hope). As you continue down the 46 W you see Pistachio (ever feel like stopping to pick some?) tree groves and a reminder about, "where there is water there is food."

One thing unexpected thing is a sea of oil wells (about 1/2 still pumping) on the two-lane stretch from Paso Robles to Cholame which was once known as "Blood Alley" where James Dean lost his life. The 46 W is a place where you don't want to be distracted, with many drivers wanted to pass slower moving traffic and times at the peril of themselves and others.

In all about 5 1/2 hour journey from San Diego to downtown Paso. We had a nice lunch @ the Odyssey Cafe ( I give this place a big thumbs up) and then before checking in we decided to do some wine tasting on the East Side of the 101. Since we had arrived by 11:30 am we were in the perfect position to hit a number of wineries and take a few tours before closing time.

So we (that's my wife and I) make a stop Arroyos Robles and meet Jason (Owner of AR) and Deanna (DD), who started Wine Country Outings and has these great wine journals(listed as a MS friend). We had a great time talking wine, drinking the wines and enjoying the hospitality of our host. Thanks Jason! Proud of his Irish ancestry. But the wine we liked and unfortunately left behind was: The Little Star pictured below, because we felt a little hurried we left there without a purchase and quickly made our way to one other tasting room in town (Silver Stone) which DD liked and was on her Journal list. Thanks DD!
Which meant for us 1st class service and free tastings and a nice discount on our purchases, we went with the 2004 Syrah, Paso Robles which is sourced from Orchid Hill Vineyard in Paso Robles’ cool Westside. (which @ the time I didn't realize would become important) Wine makers notes "This lean site, at high elevation and planted on shale and limestone soils, produces deeply-colored, robustly flavored wines that display elements of saddle-leather and blackberry, with firm but supple tannins" and @ 17% alc. I recommend decanting. But it is a big beautiful bold fruit bomb, with some nice acidity as the frame work. You hardly notice the alc. as it is very smooth and has a long persistent finish. I recommend ordering a couple today!I unfortunately will have to finish here for now, but please stay tuned for part two coming very soon, until then cheers!

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