With all the hoo-ha about Napa and Sonoma there are many regions of California that get short shrift from un-adventerous wine lovers. However, those in the know are quietly snapping up wines from lesser known regions that are not only delightful, but often are better priced than their more famous cousins.
A recent example for us was the Paso Robles AVA. Several bottles from that area have convinced us the area needs exploring in depth. Our favorite was Paripaso Cabernet 2010.
A melange of fragrances from cherry candy and currants to mint and stewed fruit, this lovely wine managed to be both complex, and engagingly easy to drink. A chameleon in the glass its nose changed with every sniff. We were delighted to note on tasting; gingersnaps, cherries, dried plums and allspice with a slight undertone of menthol. Finishing with velvety tannins this was just plain yummy. At a mere $10 from our wine club (probably closer to $12 on the open market) this was a slam dunk for our top 10 favorite reds of the year AND best value of the year. Going back to buy more I was sad (but not surprised) to see my supplier sold out of the 2010. There is some still out there however if you dig, and are willing to pay shipping.
The moral (for me) of this is that there is a treasure trove of amazingly delicious, and reasonably priced, red wine in California that doesn’t come from the better known wine regions, and certainly doesn’t come with the inflated price tag.