Its Winter and the sun is shining and the birds are singing and, well, today (Saturday) is the day we visit Paso Robles and check out a few large style tasting rooms and give them the once over. So we know, you want to know, why we picked the wineries we did. It was a very scientific and deeply thought out approach. Koala spit out names and Kiwi said no, yes, no, yes, yes, and we will see how it goes.
We decided to start at Vina Robles because it was on the right side of the road and the first one we came to as we headed out on Hwy 46 East. The facility is quite large and a bit intimidating and although there is plenty of parking it’s a bit of a walk into the tasting room. But take your time and enjoy the short stroll and appreciate the view as it is very nice. As you enter the facility it is large and spacious gift shop and specialty wine related food area. Moving thru to the tasting area it is also very open with very high ceilings and lots of room although the tasting bar is not large and is a bit dwarfed in the large space. We were greeted warmly by Anna and told of our tasting options, a standard $5 and a Reserve $10 with an optional Artisan Cheese pairing for an additional $5. We chose the Reserve, passed on the cheese, and got to it.There were six offerings starting with the 2008 Creston Valley Petit Sirah. We did not particularly care for this one mostly because as the tasting note said “lingering chalky tannins on the finish” so for us a 5 with ***.
Next was the 2008 Signature, 83% Petit Verdot, 15% Petit Sirah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. A step up for the better with a medium bodied wine that had good balance and nice finish. A 6 for us with ***. There was also a young lady wandering around with slices of 1/4" thick cut Harris Ranch Beef with some horseradish sauce on bruschetta style bread. Yum! Nice surprise and very very good.
The 2008 Suendero with 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Petit Verdot was again a step up. A elegant wine with bright fruit and soft long finish. This was a 7 with ***. Anna our tasting assistant was quite knowledgeable about the various estate vineyards and regions the grapes were sourced from and had some interesting facts about the winery and is operations.
So next up was the 2007 Syrée with 79% Syrah, 21% Petite Sirah. This was a nice full bodied wine with ripe dark fruit a full mouth feel and an earthy under tone with a smooth finish. We both felt this was a solid 7 with ***.
The 2007 Syrah Ryan Road is 100% Syrah and we both thought it was to be our favorite. A good example of a Paso Robles full bodied ripe dark fruit Syrah with good tannin structure and a long finish. We both agreed it was a solid 7 with ***.
The final taste was the 2007 FORE Petite Sirah 100% Petite Sirah. Wonderful intense ripe dark fruit with some peppery spice nicely balanced to have a great mouth feel with nice acidity with a lovely finish that hangs on just long enough. Kiwi 7, Koala 8 with ***. This was Koalas favorite and so a bottle was purchased and Kiwi violated the wife rule of one bottle per winery and purchased one also but then added a bottle of 2007 Syrah Ryan Road.Our overall impression of Vina Robles is; a must stop in if you’re in the area to try for yourself. Don't forget to tell them Kiwi and Koala sent you! This winery makes some very good boutique style wines that are well priced and very enjoyable. The tasting experience is complemented by the staff who were friendly and knowledgeable enough for all but a ponce (probably had someone there that could handle those one of those as well) The only thing we taught them was what the derivation of the word FORE in golf was.
So go by and check em out we 'recommend' you do.
Kiwi & Koala
Tasting Room Open Daily*
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Winter (beginning November 11, 2012)
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Summer
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Summer
*Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day