PRWC: Part 3 – The Winery That Cannot Be Named

Welcome to binNotes’ Terroirist Tuesday. Today’s Topic: Paso Robles, Part 3 of 3: The Winery That Cannot be Named

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“Hi, Chris Behr at Oso Libre Winery told us to stop by to try your wine.” It’s the final day of our annual Pilgrimage to Paso. Our rental car of wine enthusiasts blows exhaust outside the gates of the boutique, by-appointment-only, sorry-we’re-full-but-we’ll-add-you-to-the-waiting list winery.  We have no appointment.

“Chris Behr?  That  guy still trying to make wine?” The voice on the other end asks. Pause. “Come on in.” Buzz. The metal security gate slides open. And in we venture to the belly of the beast of …The Winery That Cannot Be Named. Because, fool – it’s by appointment only.  The wine club list is full, dude. Call us back in a year…or two. In the meantime – good luck barking up that tree…

But…bark we do, and the barking does us some good…at this Winery That Cannot Be Named. Ahh, Paso Robles…land of rebels and do-it-my-way-or-the-highway-I’ve-paid-my-dues-go-fly-a-kite-and-let-me-make-my-vino winemakers.

Our little group – including formidable wine investors Troy and Deanne Butler and Don and Bunny Johnson – has spent the past four days tasting our way through this oasis of sprawling vineyards, oak trees and hazelnut farms. Four days mingling among the aforementioned winemakers of Paso Robles. Four days rubbing elbows with The Usual Suspects: private tasting and food pairing at sweet, sweet Adelaida, another private tasting with Laird at Rangeland Wines savoring their 2012 Mistletoe blend, a picnic at  bucolic ‘Free Bear’ Oso Libre amist the sheep and free-range yellow-jackets, Tobitinis with the James Gang at Tobin James, an afternoon soirée and tipples of Bob Wine with the sisters and menagerie of dogs, cats, and babies at Whalebone Vineyard, a jaunt by Halter Ranch Vineyard, and more picturesque picnics –  one poolside at Venteux Vineyards.

But in between, our little Paso Robles two-step gets rocked by some Unusual Suspects. Such as the dynamic duo of previously featured  Eberle Winery and Tablas Creek Winery. Not to mention Special Ops Port maker  Zin Alley.  Show-stopping artisanal Proulx Wines. Plus off-the-beaten-path, former Andre Tchelistcheff pied-à-terre  Twilight Cellars.

And now this final stop…The Winery That Cannot Be Named. A winery that uses new french oak barrels every year. Wines with names like “SFR” (Shit Faced Red). A party every year for cellar club members. But not you. No. You’ll have to get in line to ‘drink the dream.’ No worries – you’ve got a all these other ass-kicking wineries to try…Cheers!

Copyrighted 2012. All Rights Reserved.


Paso Robles, Part 1 of 3: Of Outlaws, Outliers, and Old Vines

Paso Robles, Part 2 of 3: Barking up the Right Vine

So you think you know the name of The Winery That Cannot be Named? Leave it in the comments below for a chance to earn a cyberpat on the back among your peers…Cheers!

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