As summer approaches, you may be thinking about throwing a nice steak or piece of tri-tip on the grill. One of these Paso Robles cabernets would be a delicious companion.
Peachy Canyon Winery, best known for zinfandel, also makes a couple of good cabs. The 2004 Peachy Canyon Old School House Cabernet Sauvignon ($25) is easy to drink, with bright black cherry and cassis flavors accented by notes of anise and spice. There’s enough tannin to stand up to something meaty, but if you want something with even more structure, there’s the 2004 Peachy Canyon DeVine Cabernet Sauvignon ($40). It starts out with round black cherry flavors and notes of tobacco and cedar, then the tannins really kick in. Best to give it some air before you drink it.
Over at Zenaida Cellars, also along Highway 46 West, you’ll find a tasty 2002 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($22) with some nice savory overtones. It also offers black cherry fruit, hints of anise and cedar and firm tannins, and it’s attractively priced.
Bianchi Winery has another type of cabernet that’s worth considering, too. The 2004 Bianchi Signature Selection Cabernet Franc ($24) avoids the green character that cab franc so often displays, yet it’s not over the top and over-ripe. Rather, it tastes of bright cherry, along with notes of chocolate and spice. The finish is round, with supple tannins. The wine is an attractive introduction to this grape variety that’s more often used in blends.