We have visited Paso Robles for more than 10 years and are very familiar with the AVA. Known for Zinfandel and Rhone varietals the unique AVA also produces fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals that unfortunately don’t get the respect they deserve. There is one group of renown winemakers that are changing that . Formed in 2012, the Paso Robles CAB (Cabernet and Bordeaux) Collective (PRCC) is an independent collaborative effort of leading Paso Robles growers and producers of Cabernet and Bordeaux varietals specific to the Paso Robles AVA in California. The group strives to promote the full potential of the Paso Robles region in producing superior quality, classic and age-worthy Cabernet and Bordeaux varietals .
Members of the Paso Robles CAB Collective (PRCC) recently joined fellow vintners and growers across California in praising the virtues of the 2013 harvest. At the top of the list are an early start to the growing season, long hang-time and near-absence of inclement weather.
“The climatic conditions on our mountain during the growing season contributed to smaller berries and fewer berries per cluster,” said Daniel Daou, Winemaker and Owner at DAOU Vineyards. “These conditions have allowed us to generate phenolics in our wines that are, on average, thirty percent greater than in previous years. This means darker and more intense wines that will age well. A great year for Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varieties.”
Also commenting on the harvest was Michael Barreto, Winemaker at Le Vigne Winery. “An early and warm spring got the growing season off to a quick start. Some cool stretches in the summer allowed varieties like Merlot to coast a bit and be ready for harvest around the same as an average year. However, for us, Cabernet Sauvignon came in around two weeks earlier than normal. Our harvest size was about average with nicely-sized clusters that should provide nice flavor and concentration.”
Calcareous Winemaker, Jason Joyce shared, “All in all, at this earliest of stages in the wines’ life, I could not be more enthusiastic about this vintage. It may not be until 2016 that these wines are ready to taste, but if there is enough patience to let natural aging run its course, this vintage has all the requisite fundamentals for the production of remarkable Bordeaux varietals.”
With more than 25 Paso Robles harvests under his belt, Jeff Meier, Director of Winemaking for J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines added, “Given the phenomenal quality of our fermentations so far this harvest, and the color numbers we are recording, I’m reminded of the legendary 1997 vintage. While every vintage is unique, 1997 and 2013 were very similar in that we had ideal moderate weather from veraison onward with no significant heat events, factors that have contributed to the remarkable color of our red wines. This is especially true for our Cabernet Sauvignon, which is showing the voluptuous black currant and cherry flavors we love from warmer vintages. The fact that I’m even thinking about 1997 right now is a testament to how excited I am about this vintage.”
This prestigious group seeks to improve awareness among consumers and retailers worldwide regarding the distinctive attributes of Paso Robles Cabernet as well as other Bordeaux varietals. Current members include: ADELAIDA Cellars, Ancient Peaks Winery, B&E Vineyard, Calcareous Vineyard, Chateau Margene, DAOU Vineyards & Winery, Eberle Winery, HammerSky Vineyards, Hunt Cellars, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Le Vigne Winery, Jada Vineyard, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, L’Aventure, Parrish Family Vineyards, Record Family Wines, Robert Hall Winery, Sextant Wines and Vina Robles.
The next time you are in the area , stop in to one of these wineries and sample a world class Cabernet Sauvignon than can stand against any on the world stage.