Lakeside Paso

A few quick notes on the Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival today… Outstanding in Spot 1: Peachy Canyon‘s Counoise and Grenache rosé and the sublime Peche Blanche white blend. Fair perfection in Provence-style rosé for the former, an unbelievable balance of textures in the latter–and the finish will blow your mind.

Like I have often mused about Tablas Creek: the beauty of Ancient Peaks is NOT in the hi-profile blends. True beauty is in the single-varieties, and tasting their Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot will make you a believer. Rambunctious and infectious in body and structure–you’ll never drink Oyster Ridge again.

Tommy Booth’s collection of Clarksburg wines seems an odd placement in Paso Robles, but he insists on sourcing fruit from there and I will NEVER complain. Clarksburg makes the best Chenin Blanc in California, and the rest of his wines offer strong argument. WINE BOSS

New-to-me Nenow sources from a variety of Central Coast vineyards–stunner is Kimsey Syrah, a vineyard which needs no introduction to loyal readers.

Another new brand, RF Fine Wines offered 2015 through 2018 Cabernets. The 18 odd, vegetal and undrinkable, but as we trickle down to 17 it offers eye-opening depth and arriving at 15, shows a true stunner. My curiosity is piqued in these fairly low-alc eastside cabs.

Donati’s labeling of a R&R methode offers bright fruit and solid aplomb. One of my favorite inexpensive brands in Paso, and adding this to their roster is a no-brainer.

It was HOT today at the event, and I dipped into a plethora of rosé. This one is almost all Mourvedre, and your Bandol dreams are fulfilled in every detail. Also a must-have: their Derbyshire estate Pinot Noir from one of my favorite vineyards in Cambria: tiny yields and profound pinot expression. DERBY WINES

Sadly not pouring their Reserva super-Tuscan, Bella Luna is another pet winery in the Templeton Gap. The Tocai Fruilano/Arneis blend easily the oddest and most interesting white of the day, the mop-the-floor Piccolo Rosso rosé not passing the smell-test–ridiculously flawed throughout–but the Barbera showing the kinds of things I adore about this winery.

Atascadero Lakeside Wine Fest is back after a couple-year hiatus in their 30-year run.

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