Savor your way through California’s delightful Central Coast
Heading south to Paso Robles for the 2016 Central Coast Wine Competition is always a joy, and this year is no exception. The wines are showing beautifully, and the passion of the winemakers and vintners is palpable. Results for this year’s competition are in! The Best Red wine and Best of Show award went to San Marcos Creek for their 2014 Fling’s First Crush, a Grenache based blend. Best of Class honors for sparkling wine was captured by Laetitia Vineyard & Winery for their NV Brut Cuvee. Best Pink wine was awarded to Sexton for their 2015 Grenache Rose. Gary and Marcy Eberle (owners of Eberle Winery) scored two Best of Class Awards, one for their 2015 Viognier (Best White Wine) and the other for their 2015 Muscat Canelli (Best Dessert Wine).
Here are my impressions of these fabulous sippers, and other Gold medal winning favorites:
Laetitia Vineyard & Winery NV Brut Cuvee; Arroyo Grande Valley, California: This vivacious sparkling wine (made from 53% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 17% Pinot Blanc) displays a tiny bead, and draws you in with its fragrant scent of citrus-laced stone fruit. Flavors of crisp pears, creamy apples, and lemon zest with hints of fresh baked bread are unveiled on the palate; dazzling! SRP: $25 www.laetitiawine.com
San Marcos Creek Vineyard & Winery 2014 Fling’s First Crush; Paso Robles, California: From the enticing aroma and bright entry to the last juicy sip, this blend of 50% Grenache, 33% Zinfandel and 17% Petite Sirah is captivating. Deeply concentrated with red raspberry, blackberry and ripe plums surrounded by all-spice and fresh cracked peppercorns. It’s rich and mouth coating with a firm backbone of tannins, nice acids keeping it lively, and a finish that just keeps on going. SRP: $39 www.sanmarcoscreek.com
Eberle Winery 2015 Viognier; Paso Robles, California: Here is a classic, gorgeous Viognier that is simply irresistible. Aromas of delicate white flowers and a splash of citrus pave the way for a resplendent palate showcasing perfectly ripe nectarines, apricots and honeydew melon. Hints of lemon verbena and fresh squeezed orange juice add further delight, and the wine is perfectly balanced. SRP: $26 www.eberlewinery.com
Sextant Wines 2015 Grenache Rosé; Paso Robles, California: Crafted of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, this seductive dry Rosé is crisp and radiant. Strawberry, tropical melon and cranberry cocktail flavors with accents of citrus and chopped herbs enliven the palate; a lovely quaff. SRP: $21 www.sextantwines.com
Cinquain Cellars 2013 Reserve Malbec; Paso Robles, California: Aromas of black fruit and vanilla bean waft from the glass. This tightly wound, complex wine offers up dense blackberry and black cherry at the core, with accents of well integrated oak, exotic coffee, and savory spice. Beautifully structured and balanced; an extraordinary Malbec. SRP: $60 www.cinquaincellars.com
Hearst Ranch Winery 2014 “Pico Creek” Merlot; Paso Robles, California: This smooth, finely textured Merlot (composed of 75% Merlot and 25% Petit Verdot) fills the palate with fresh herbs, juicy blueberry, raspberry and blackberry fruit, and a tasty thread of cocoa. Shows off immaculate balance, pretty tannins, and a lifted finish. SRP: $30 www.hearstranchwinery.com
Michael Rose Cellars 2015 Estate Bouschet Rosé; Central Coast, California: Fragrant berry aromas draw you into this delectable Alicante Bouschet Rosé. Lively acidity frames raspberry, blueberry, cranberry and subtle spice flavors that simply dance on the palate. Thirst quenching, bright and elegant. SRP: $26 www.michaelrosecellars.com
Tlo Wines 2014 Pinot Noir; Edna Valley, California: A highly expressive Pinot Noir displaying berry and cherry cola notes at first whiff. The palate is equally compelling with layers of sun ripened Bing cherries, fresh raspberries, a touch of spiced oak and forest floor nuances; well crafted. SRP: $40 www.tlowines.com
J Dusi Wines 2014 Dante Dusi Vineyard Zinfandel; Paso Robles, California: A rich and jammy mouthful! Reminiscent of a bowl brimming with juicy, ripe summer raspberries, blackberries and cranberries topped with vanilla bean scented cream. Oh so spirited, fresh and pure, with a finish that lingers after the final sip. SRP: $38 www.jdusiwines.com
Brophy Clark Cellars 2014 Chardonnay; Santa Maria Valley, California: Aromas of orchard fruit and buttery croissants set the stage for a yummy mouthful of sautéed pears, pineapple, baking spices and well placed underlying oak. Fully flavored and well balanced with a satisfying, persistent aftertaste. SRP: ~$20 www.brophyclarkcellars.com
Eberle Winery 2015 Muscat Canelli; Paso Robles, California: This vibrant, semi-sweet Muscat Canelli awakens the senses with a pretty floral aroma and fills the mouth with luscious flavors of gingered pears and fresh peach compote. Striking acidity creates a beautiful balance and the finish is heavenly. SRP: $20 www.eberlewinery.com
View all the results for the 2016 competition at www.centralcoastwinecomp.com. For more enjoyment, spend a few days in this delightful locale to taste and purchase these award winning wines, and other delectable wines being made throughout the Central Coast wine region.