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Paso Robles is slowly gaining recognition as a premier growing region and the wineries of the C.A.B Collective (the acronym standing for Cabernet And other Bordeaux) are out to showcase the quality of the area’s Bordeaux varieties. Our tasting panel has been rather impressed with the caliber of the group’s wines since its inception and this year has been no different. But you don’t have to take our word for it. You can taste for yourself at their annual CABs of Distinction event happening on April 25th & 26th.
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In the meantime, here’s a preview of some of the Merlots, Malbecs, and Bordeaux-style blends available for sampling at the event. (Also check out a preview of the Cabernet!)

 

2010 Calcareous Lloyd Bordeaux Blend, Paso Robles

Calcareous Vineyard 2010 “Lloyd” Blend

Grape(s): 24% Malbec, 21% Cab Sauvignon, 19% Cab Franc, 19% Petit Verdot, & 17% Merlot

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of blueberries, cherries, and blackberries mingle with cedar and dark chocolate on the nose.  A sip delivers flavors of blackberry, cassis, and black cherry accented by suggestions of chocolate, anise, and thyme. A smooth, layered blend with ripe tannins, it drinks beautifully now but will develop nicely in the cedar. 520 cases were made.

Rating: 93

BE-merlot

B&E Vineyard 2009 Merlot

Grape(s): 100% Merlot

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 25-30

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of cherries, plums, and cinnamon greets the senses.  A sip delivers flavors of cherry, boysenberry, and plum accented by hints of sweet spice and vanilla. A smooth and fruity wine, if you like easy-going reds, this is a bottle for you. 420 cases were made.

Rating: 89

BE-red

B & E Vineyards 2008 “Red Rhythm” Blend

Grape(s): 84% Merlot, 40% Cabernet, and 14% Cabernet Franc,

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 25-30

Review:

Aromatics of cherries, blackberries, and plums rise up from a glass.  Flavors of cherry and blackberry are accented by notes of chocolate and oak on the palate. Fairly smooth and fruit-forward, fans of elegant blends will enjoy this bottle. 727 cases produced.
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Rating: 89

Daou Label w8 Final

Daou 2010 Reserve “Seventeen Forty” Blend

Grape(s): 70% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 55-60

Tasting Notes:

Raspberry, cherry, and blackberry aromas interweave with hints of sweet spice, spring flowers, and chocolate on the nose. The palate delivers flavors of cherries, strawberries, and plum underscored by notes of  clove, lavender, and dark chocolate.  A light, smooth red blend with plush tannins, it would be a fine bottle to pair with Greek chicken or lamb.

Rating: 91

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Ancient Peaks 2011 Merlot

Grape(s): 100% Merlot

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 15-20

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of black cherries, boysenberries, and plums meld with suggestions of earth and all-spice on the nose.  A sip brings forth flavors of bramble fruit and currants that coalesce with hints of cocoa, espresso, and herbaceous accents.  Dark and mouth-filling, this is a Merlot that can stand up to a juicy streak. About 4,000 cases were made.  

Rating: 88

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Ancient Peaks 2010 Oyster Ridge

Grape(s): 59% Cabernet, 27% Merlot, 11% Petit Sirah, 4% Petit Verdot, & 3% Cabernet Franc

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of black cherries, cassis, blackberries and fennel seed rises up from a glass. Notes of blackberry and currants emerge on the palate along with hints of cocoa, creamy oak, and licorice. A rich wine, with supple tannins, it will pair nicely with lamb. 688 cases produced.

Rating: 89

  Cuvee STE label

J. Lohr 2010 St. E Cuvee

Grape(s): Cabernet Franc 46%, Merlot 31%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%, & Malbec 3%

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

Fragrances of cherries, blueberries, and plums open up  into notes of dark chocolate and pie crust on the nose. Flavors of sweet cherry, black plum, and raspberry mingle with hints of chocolate and citrus zest on the palate.  A lush Bordeaux-style blend, try a bottle if you enjoy lighter, layered reds. 560 cases produced.

Rating: 90

Cuvee POM label

J. Lohr 2010 Cuevee POM

Grape(s): Merlot 62%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%, & Cabernet Franc 18%

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

Cherry, boysenberry, and plum aromas interlace with suggestions of dark chocolate, burnt vanilla, and cedar on the nose.  The palate delivers flavors of black cherry, raspberry and plum with accents of mocha, sweet oak, and minerals.  A rich, mouth-filling blend with velvety tannins, enjoy a bottle with your favorite Portobello mushroom dish. 314 cases were made.

Rating: 89

Cuvee PAU label

J. Lohr 2010 Cuevee PAU

Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon 55%, Merlot 25%, Malbec 10%, & Petit Verdot 10%

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of blackberries, plums, and blueberries meld with hints of sweet oak and Asian spice. Flavors of blueberry and plum open-up into notes of buttery oak, tea, and sweet spice on the palate. A supple red, with welcoming tannis, enjoy a bottle with roast chicken. 200 cases produced.

Rating: 89

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Robert Hall 2011 Meritage

Grape(s): 41% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, & 7% Petit Verdot

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 35-40

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of cassis, cherries, and blackberries mingle with suggestions of earth, vanilla, and cedar on the nose.  With a sip, flavors of black cherry, plum, and blackberry emerge along with nuances of herbs, creamy oak, and minerals.  A sturdy wine with cocoa like tannins, fans of dark, well-structured reds should give this bottle a try.

Rating: 88

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Justin 2011 “Justification” Blend

Grape(s): Cabernet Franc 59% & Merlot 41%

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

Black cherries, cassis, and plums meld with nuances of vanilla, roast coffee, and floral hints on the nose. Flavors of currant and plum are accented by rose petals, vanilla, and minerals on the palate.  It’s a light, bright, floral red that’s very approachable.

Rating: 90

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Hammersky 2010 “Party of Four” Blend

Grape(s): 47% Merlot, 30% Petit Verdot, 12% Malbec, & 11% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 55-60

Tasting Notes:

Fragrances of plums, cherries, and black currants meld with nuances of cinnamon and earthy herbs on the nose.  The palate reveals flavors of cherry, bramble fruit, and cassis along with highlights of all-spice, minerals, and  forest floor. A rich wine with plentiful tannins, it will pair nicely with creamy, hearty dishes.  400 cases produced.

Rating: 90

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Hammersky “Red Handed” Merlot

Grape(s): 100% Merlot

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

Notes of cherries, raspberries, and plums come together with notes of vanilla on the nose.  A sip delivers flavors of cherry, blackberry, and plum that mingle with hints of clove, thyme, and toasty vanilla. A supple, fruit-driven red with nice structure, it will hold up to red meat or a bolognese sauce. 500 cases were made.

Rating: 90

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Bon Niche Cellars 2010 “Voutes” Blend

Grape(s): 45 %Petit Verdot, 45% Malbec, & 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 35-40

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of blackberries, blueberries and currants meld with hints of toasty oak and vanilla on the nose.  Flavors of blackberry, blueberry, and cassis open up into nuances of earth and vanilla on the palate. A lush blend with supple tannins, it will pair quite nicely with lamb burgers.

Rating: 90

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Bon Niche Cellars 2010 “L’Entree” Malbec

Grape(s): 100% Malbec

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

Fragrances of bramble fruit and blueberry mingle with notes of earth and toasty oak on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of blackberries, blueberries, and plums accented by suggestions of earth and  cocoa. A full-bodied red, with rich tannins, fans Malbecs that are smoother and less intense will enjoy this bottle.

Rating: 89

RecordMerlot

Record Family 2011 Merlot

Grape(s): 100% Merlot

Region: Paso Robles

Price: 25-30

Tasting Notes:

Cherry and plum aromas along with suggestions of vanilla bean and cedar rise up from a glass. A sip delivers flavors of cherries and raspberries accented by notes of sweet spice and cola.  A smooth Merlot with soft tannins, fans of easy-going reds will enjoy this wine. 350 cases were made.

Rating: 88