walking Ambythe Estate w Phillip Hart, July 2015
While the history of Paso Robles wine sits with Zinfandel and its associated hearty red varieties, such as Petite Sirah, its contemporary fame begins with Cabernet Sauvignon established in large plantings from the 1960s through the 1980s, and turns more recently to the varieties of the Rhône. Across varieties, the region is known for producing ample wines – wines with a profound concentration of flavour almost regardless of cellar technique.
The region’s single-vineyard wines that so clearly offer site expression even at higher alcohol seem a blunt reminder that terroir can make its presence felt even over 14% alcohol. As Turley’s Paso Robles’ winemaker Karl Wicka points out, to achieve an approachable balance of acidity to alcohol to flavour to tannin from any of their single-vineyard Zinfandel sites without having to intervene in the cellar demands additional hang time. Vines of the Central Coast – not only in Paso Robles but also in the other subzones of this part of the state as well – tend to hold on to their acidity. Winemakers are left, then, waiting for acidity to drop to a palatable level even while sugars climb. Wines from the deftest winemakers can offer harmony of expression.
To keep reading, heading on over to JancisRobinson.com where the article continues accompanied by tasting notes for 67 Rhone wines, and then 46 other varieties. Both of these articles appear behind a paywall.
Subscription to JancisRobinson.com is £6.99 a month or £69 per year ($11/mo or $109 a year for you Americans) and includes searchable access to the new 4th edition of the Oxford Companion to Wine ($65) and the 7th edition to the World Atlas of Wine ($50) as part of the subscription costs, as well as interactive discussions on the Purple Pages. Click here to sign up.
The links are below.
Paso Robles Rhone varieties: http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/paso-robles-rhne-varieties
Paso Robles Other varieties: http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/paso-robles-other-grape-varieties
To read more on Paso Robles, check-out this the [free-access] photo (accompanied by in depth captions) collection from an 8-day research intensive visit I made this summer. Between the photo collection + the write-up at JancisRobinson.com there’s a wealth of info on the region.
Here’s the link for the photo collection: http://wakawakawinereviews.com/2016/02/01/8-days-in-paso-robles/