Bordeaux-style wines from some of Paso Robles’ top producers have garnered some of their highest scores ever from Robert Parker’s influential Wine Advocate publication.
“While Paso Robles has been synonymous with the Rhône movement for over a decade now, it is worth noting the quality of the Bordeaux varieties coming from these limestone hills today,” Wine Advocate’s Jeb Dunnuck wrote in his recent review of new releases from 2013 and 2014. “While it may be hard for readers to believe, trust me when I tell you that these top-quality releases are a match for the best wines from California’s North Coast.”
The region’s wineries earned dozens of scores in the mid-90s for wines based largely on cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot and other Bordeaux varietals, including a 98 for DAOU Vineyards & Winery’s 2013 Patrimony as well as a handful of other scores above 95.
Dunnuck called the Patrimony the finest 100 percent cab he’s tasted from Paso, saying it will “stand toe-to-toe with the best coming out of Napa.”
Vintners Georges and Daniel Daou called the scores “a shot across the bow” and their most triumphant affirmation yet, writing in a recent newsletter: “For nine years, we have built DAOU upon the unstoppable belief that the next benchmark for cabernet sauvignon would come not from Bordeaux or Napa Valley, but from Paso Robles.”
Other top producers singled out by Dunnuck include Adelaida Vineyards & Winery, Booker Vineyard and Winery, Denner Vineyards, Jada Vineyard and Winery, Justin Vineyards & Winery, L’Aventure and The Farm Winery.
The high scores went beyond Bordeaux styles, with plenty of 90-plus scores for Rhône and other varieties, with some at estates including Booker, Saxum Vineyards and Alban Vineyards reaching 99 and 100 points.
The Wine Advocate story and scores are available to subscribers only, but here’s a sampling of a few other local scores from the publication:
▪ Alta Colina 2013 Sun Worshipper, 93
▪ Alta Colina 2013 Syrah Old 900, 93
▪ Booker 2014 The Ripper grenache, 98
▪ Brecon 2014 Syrah Estate, 91
▪ Clos Solene 2014 Cuvee Jean, 96
▪ Clos Solene 2014 Homage A Nos Pairs, 96
▪ Denner 2014 Ditch Digger, 96
▪ Denner 2013 Mother of Exiles, 95
▪ Epoch 2013 Veracity, 95
▪ L’Aventure 2014 For Her, 100
▪ L’Aventure 2014 Estate Cuvee, 98
▪ Sans Liege 2013 En Gedi grenache, 94
▪ Sans Liege XIIXIII Prophetess syrah/mourvedre, 94
▪ Saxum 2013 Booker Vineyard, 98
▪ Saxum 2013 Rocket Block James Berry Vineyard, 98
▪ TH Estate Wines 2013 The 46 Reserve, 95
“Paso Robles remains on a qualitative roll with recent vintages, and readers really can’t go wrong here, especially in 2013 and 2014,” Dunnuck wrote, calling those years “sensational vintages” filled with world-class wines.
Dunnuck predicted that the 2015 vintage, plagued by bad weather and diminished yields, may be marked by less consistent quality.
“Quality in 2015 will be determined by how much each estate worked their vineyard and how strict a selection was made on the sorting table,” he wrote.
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CABS of Distinction
Want to sample some of Paso’s top cabs? The CABs of Distinction Grand Tasting, put on by the Paso Robles CAB (Cabernet and Bordeaux) Collective, features 75 wines from its 22 member wineries. The tasting takes place 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 14, at the Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso. Tickets, which include live music and small bites, cost $65 and can be purchased at www.pasoroblescab.com.