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Cabernet is King in Paso Robles
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No More Zinning Around in Paso Robles – Cab is Now King!

Until recently, if I were on a wine trivia quiz show and was asked which grape varietal was most planted in the Paso Robles wine country, I would have replied Zinfandel or possibly a Rhone Valley grape such as Syrah. Never would I have guessed that Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted varietal in the area with another Bordeaux varietal, Merlot, coming in second place.

Really? Who knew?

The Paso Robles wine region has done an excellent job of promoting local Zinfandels as well as creating a niche as the American home of Rhone Valley wine grapes — Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Roussanne, Marsanne, Cinsault and Carignane — so much so that the average wine consumer wouldn’t readily think to order a Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso but more likely a Zin or one of the above Rhone wines.

But an emerging wine entity, The Cab Collective, is seriously focused on changing the reign of Paso’s most known wine varietals to their lesser known Bordelais counterparts: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc . “Cabs of Distinction,” an event created by The Cab Collective offers both wine trade and consumers the opportunity to taste these up and coming Paso wines and is providing serious proof that Bordelais varietals from Paso are excellent and dare-I-say, Napa-worthy.

If you can’t get down to Paso Robles any time soon, then use my cheat sheet to find the best wines. No thanks necessary — it was my pleasure to do the hard work of tasting these wines for you!

Justin 2012 Isosceles – A Bordeaux Blend

Probably the most famous wine from the most famous winery in the region but there is a reason for its fame. It is consistently good and the 2012 doesn’t disappoint. The wine is concentrated with a nose and palate that reveal pretty black cherry and black berry fruits with slight earthiness and a beautiful finish.

Chateau Margene 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($56.00)

100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in new French oak. Juicy with black cherry flavors but not over ripe which sometimes “juicy” wines can be.

J. Lohr’s 2011 Cuvée Pom red blend ($50.00)

A very consumer friendly wine also with juicy red and black fruits and a silky finish.

Bon Niche 2010 L’Entrée Malbec ($32.00)

100% Malbec. Nicely balanced with blackberry, cherry and slight plum fruit components. Great structure but soft and smooth.

All of these wines are current vintages so don’t wait to buy them! And, next time you’re reviewing a restaurant wine list, go to the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends selection (Ok and Malbec) and look for PASO.

Both you’re palate and your pocketbook will be pleased!

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About The Author
Roxanne Langer
Sommelier, international wine judge, marketing director of various wineries and wine writer/author, Roxasnne has over 20 years experience in the international wine industry.Currently, Roxanne owns and operates WineFUNdamentals, a wine edutainment and experience company which provides wine programs to corporations, associations and universities. These programs include key note addresses, breakouts, wine incentive travel, wine seminars, food and wine pairing programs, wine receptions and dinners and wine team building. She is also also an adjunct wine professor for a culinary college and a university.

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