The Top Paso Robles Wines
by Coy Barnes
Top Paso Robles Wines of 2012
Each year, the Paso Robles Wine Club has the challenge of picking 45 of the best wines of Paso Robles to release in three installments throughout the year.
Because of our long-standing relationships and intimate knowledge of the region, most of Paso's nearly 300 wineries have been highlighted at one time or another in the Paso Robles Wine Club and our “Best of” series has become the local’s and client’s favorite resource for choosing Paso Robles wines throughout the year.
The method to our "Best of" madness:
We spend an enormous amount of time picking and choosing wines that best represent our region. We spend the entire year choosing our wines and select a representation of the diversity of the list 3 times per year. The exact process goes like this: Wineries submit wines for review; we hand pick wineries to visit and we make extensive notes when tasting and barrel sampling; then we get recommendations from other wine industry professionals and our tour customers.
Each selection is evaluated based on: 1) quality – it must be a great wine; 2) diversity – Paso Robles is made of many micro-climates, soil types, and vineyard management styles; 3) winery size – from the smallest commercial production of 50 cases (many of these do not have tasting rooms) to the largest of 1 million plus; 4) varietal – 50 to choose from plus blends; 5) price point – it can’t break the bank; and 6) uniqueness. We also take into account if a wine is light vs. big and bold and fruity vs. tannic.
Since Paso Robles has more than 50 different wine grapes planted that contribute to single varietal bottlings along with blends of as little as two varietals to as many as 11 varietals (which we call mega blends), the vetting process goes on all year long. We usually drink 200-300 wines for each shipment decision (and yes, people usually want our job!).
The following wineries were included last year’s list and shipments:
Now, the question is… which wineries wines will be the top picks for 2012? Stay tuned to find out!
Coy Barnes is the owner of the Paso Robles Wine Club, a wine club that sends an assortment of Paso Robles wines; and The Wine Wrangler, Paso Robles’ longest running wine tour service. Both businesses are located at the Paso Robles Train Station.