"The intersection where great wines meet reasonable prices"



Friday, November 14, 2008

Paso Robles, a tale of two cities! Part 4 "Rhone Rangers"

As promised here is my fourth blog about my Paso wine experience. Often times you leave many of the best for the last and in my ever not so humble opinion that is what I have done. It is another hot day in Paso, although a hard rain came through overnight and left the beautiful Paso skies full of gentle puffy whites. The harvest heat picked right back up from where it left off the previous day. Our first stop of the day is L'Adventure, which I will let Robert Parker give you a quick blurb about the going's on at this gem in Western Paso.

Parker describes it this way; "transplanted Frenchman, Stephan Asseo (from St.-Emilion), has found a home as well as some great terroirs in the limestone soils of Paso Robles (all his vineyards are situated on the western side of Highway 101). Asseo continues to go from strength to strength, producing a fabulous portfolio of wines that makes L-Aventure one of the bright, shining reference points for the region. This is one of the California Central Coast superstars, and the wines are worth every cent."-Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

All of this is true and drinking the wine you get the feeling that you are in smack in the middle of the Rhone. This why L'Aventure and a host of other wineries have been dubbed the "Rhone Rangers"
The first thing we tasted was the 2005 Optimus (51% Syrah, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot) wow a great wine! Seamless, elegant fruit and a balanced acidity a good structure for aging. But I recommend drinking now. Oh by the way RP liked this wine as much as we did. The night before we went to L'Adventure we paired this same wine with a rack of lamb. Marvelous!

That same day in the tasting room we tried the Estate Cuvée 2006, 49% Syrah estate, 37% Cabernet estate and 14% Petit Verdot estate. Now when it says estate, it means the grapes are sourced from the vineyards they own and control from grape to glass. This really makes a huge difference in the quality of the wine and you can just taste the freshness and viewing the vineyards you start to get a sense of place. Check out this picture of L'Adventure I shot from the tasting room door.You see why the vineyards here produce some of the finest wine coming out of the Paso area. We also tasted the Estate Cote a Cote 2006 40% Mouvedre estate, 30% Grenache estate and 30% Syrah Estate. Another amazing effort! We purchased all our budget would afford and signed up for their wine club (were on the waiting list) in hopes of being able to purchase more of their wines in the future. They are a little on the expensive side for most folks. But contrasted with their brethren in the Rhone, the are quite a bargain.

By the way the tasting fee of $10.00 can be shared, but I recommend everyone get their own as the tasting fee includes a very nice Riedel 'O' Cabernet/Merlot/Bordeaux Stemless Wine Glasses, which do have the L'Adventure logo. These glasses sell for $24.95 for the pair retail. But you can get them with your tasting (pours are very generous). Make sure you go early to avoid the crowds, this tasting room or Salon as they call it will fill up quickly. L'Adventure is on most folks hit parade, so please stop on by, taste, enjoy and take some home to enjoy on a special occasion.

That's is all I have time for now, but I still have 3 more wineries from the area that I believe will shock and awe your palates. So until then Cheers! Remember a day without wine is just not a very good day!


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