Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Viognier
Paso Robles, California, USA2006
$22.99 -- Grapevine Market, Austin, TX
Color: Medium ruby
Nose: Strawberries, a little heat, cinnamon
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Fake cork
They say that the region around Paso Robles is good for growing southern Rhône varietals like the ones that make up this one. The syrah-heavy blends from there are certainly good, and Tablas Creek's wines are among my favorites. The truth may be much more complex--the plains and valleys around Paso Robles are extremely varied, with wide-ranging microclimates, and the winemakers there are a mix of experienced old-world types and smart neophytes. Eberle is one of the area's oldest houses.
This is a delightful wine. I've expressed my affection for it before, but if this were available in more places, I'd be buying it by the case for pretty much any everyday meal or taking to friends' houses--much like I would a good and well-priced Côtes du Rhône. It will make just about any red wine drinker happy, and will keep those with more demanding palates interested just long enough to get them out the door. The fruit is tart and the spices are delightful; the tannins are very low.
It was damn fine with a beautiful Texas sunset and a rising chorus of crickets and frogs.