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While Paso Robles has gained a mainstream reputation has a premier wine producing area in the last several years, the Dunning’s realized it’s potential back in the early 90’s.  With a focus on estate grown fruit, they’ve been crafting gold metal winning wines for twenty plus years, and based on what our panel tasted, it’s easy to understand why.

Dunning Vineyards 2014 Reserve Grenache

Grape(s): 100% Grenache

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 40-45

Tasting Notes:

Cherries, blackberries, and blueberries play with elements of nutmeg, dark chocolate, and white pepper on the nose. Up front, on the palate, there’s lots of dark cherry and blackberry that weaves in expressions of mocha, minerals, and spice. Cocoa tannins frame the dark fruit, which lends this wine to paring well with pulled pork tacos. 150 cases produced.

Rating: 91

Dunning Vineyards 2013 Reserve Petite Sirah

Grape(s): 100% Petite Sirah

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 40-45

Tasting Notes:

A dark, rich nose of blueberries, blackberries, plums, and coffee comes up from a glass. An abundance of that fruit, with blueberry and blackberry at the forefront, is complimented by suggestions of mocha, pepper, and nutmeg on the palate. A wine with good structure and focused flavors, it will hold up well to your favorite BBQ dishes. 150 cases were made.

Rating: 90

 

Dunning Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): Cabernet and (small amount of) Cabernet Franc

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 40-45

Tasting Notes:

The nose brings forth aromas of currants and black cherries wrapped up with touches of earth and toasty oak. Chewy tannins carry flavors of cherry, blackberry, and cassis into undertones of spice, oak, and earth on the palate. This has the structure to develop over a few years in your cellar but will drink nicely now with a hearty rib-eye. 275 cases produced.

Rating: 89+

Dunning Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay

Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 25-30

Tasting Notes:

A classic California Chardonnay nose of apples, pears, toasty oak, and vanilla rises up. The palate delivers flavors of golden apples and ripe pear that mingle with expressions of sweet spice and oak. The slight creaminess of the wine is balanced out by a pleasant acidity, making it a good match for crab cakes. 385 cases were made.

Rating: 89

Dunning Vineyards 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

Lots of cherry, strawberry, and cranberry aromas greet the senses, along with expressions of clove and earth. A lush fruit core of cherries, strawberries, and cranberries comes together with whispers of sweet spice and floral earth on the plate. With ample fruit, polished tannins, and a pleasant acidity, this would nicely alongside a mushroom quiche. 168 cases produced.

Rating: 90

Dunning Vineyards 2013 Meritage

Grape(s): 70% Cabernet, 20% Merlot, & 10% Cabernet Franc

Region: Paso Robles, Ca

Price: 35-40

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of blackberries, black cherries, cassis, and sweet spice draws one in. Rich, dark fruit takes center stage on the palate but pulls in some highlights of clove, toasty oak, and dark chocolate. Nicely structured and balanced, this wine could do well with 3-5 years in the cellar but work pair rather well with a roast beef now. 325 cases were made.

Rating: 90+

 

 

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*Wines rated with a “+” have not yet reached their peak quality but will do so over the coming years