PASO ZIN IS IN

on 14/05/11 at 5:33 pm

BoozeBlog

By Boozenews.com reporter, D.R. Stewart

Wines tasted at winemakers lunch

In our piece on Ian Blackburn, Ian stated “Right now my favorite California wine is Zinfandel because it’s truly the last authentic wine that we have. The grape that really created California wine. I think that Zin takes on a very fantastic expression of place.” No pun can ever truly be pardoned, but his prediction may have come to fruition. At a Friday-the-13th press luncheon for his Stars of Paso Robles event held on swank Rodeo Drive at the lovely McCormick and Schmicks, Christina Turley (yes, those Turleys!)  trotted out Turley’s Presenti 2008 Zin. It captivated the room of wine journos. Also, Mike Mooney’s Reserve Pinot 2009 got a lot of “Ooos” and “Ahs” from the room. Mooney preceded to give a shout-out to one of the few other Pinot growers in Paso – Jack Creek, a personal fav. Mooney only made 270 cases of the pinot, but he has managed to sell down to 30 cases, at $70+ a bottle.

Ian Blackburn pointed out that Paso is easier as a destination stop to get to than Napa, and it has a very friendly tasting room oriented culture. Joel Peterson, repping for Hope Family Wines gave props to the Paso Robles Wine County Alliance, noting they promote the region, with obviously “a much smaller budget than Napa. Probably.” Mr. Mooney threw a little jab at Napa, saying that their “dirty little secret is that Paso grapes are ending up in Napa wines.” He also said that Paso (like Napa did) is in the process of creating different appellations for the region, with 11 areas highlighted. The East vs. West regions in Paso make for very different growing conditions, and his 2007 Chateau Margene Reserve Cab exploited this with 70% east grapes and 30% west grapes. Turley showed off a 05’ White Coat (Marsanne, Viognier, Rousanne), that she said “we basically keep for ourselves” and their wine list fans.

Mike Mooney of Chateau Margene, Christina Turley of Turley Wine Cellars & Joel Peterson of Hope Family Wines

For fun, at the lunch’s end, Blackburn asked the wine folks from Paso – what’s good to eat? They recommended Bistro Laurent , and on the fun side – Hoover’s Beef Palace and The Loading Chute. You can’t go wrong by going up to Paso Robles when Bill and Barbara Spencer have their tomato festival in September, which usually features Clark Staub making pizza from Full of Life Flatbread. If you have the time, build in a trip over to his restaurant, Flatbread for their crazy good wine list and pizza. Open on Friday and Saturday nights only.

The end of a fine tasting

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