Mostly Paso but some other interesting stuff

Scott & Jo's

Tasted January 23, 2017 by Loren Sonkin with 230 views


Last night my wife and I joined our friend Scott and Jo for their annual wine tasting dinner. Jo is an amazing chef and Scott handles the wine. Usually it is a collection of wines that they purchased on their motorcycle travels around the world. They invite about a dozen people over, so Scott needs two of each bottle if possible. Yesterday, the wines were mostly from their ride thru Paso Robles.

Flight 1 - Champagne to start. (1 note)

Standing around and catching up with some nice bubbly. Jo served a melted cheese and bread dish that was a perfect match.

White - Sparkling
N.V. Larmandier-Bernier Champagne Latitude France, Champagne
91 points
Very enjoyable. Sampled from a couple of different bottles. Light golden in color. A good amount of small bubbles. The nose has a slight yeasty/doughy quality along with a bit of lemons. The palate is rounder with enough acidity but not a lot. More red apples with a slight earthy note. Good finish. Easy sipping but some complexity.

Flight 2 - We sat down to dinner with these five wines pre-poured on a labeled place mat. (5 notes)

With lots of food first a bowl of Squash Soup with crystallized ginger, and then followed by roasted carrots, broccolini, mashed potatoes, and a mixed sort of vegetable cassoulet. There was also meet for the omnivores. The soup went great with the Aglianico, while the others were well thought out to match the other wines.

2013 Caparone Aglianico USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
89 points
My first time hearing of or trying this winery. I am told this cost about $15 at the winery which is a great value. A very interesting take. I love Aglianico but most (from Italy) are way too tart and need to be drunk immediately or need a very long time in the cellar - twenty years is not a lot even for a $20 wine. This was a bit different. To start with, the color is ruby and transparent. Not the purple of Agianico del Vulture for example. Then the nose is very dusty. It comes across not too unlike a good but inexpensive Bordeaux. There is also a nice cherry component and hints of cigar. On the palate, this is not super ripe. Nice cherries and bit of black currants. Good balance. Great with a Squash soup with crystallized ginger. Is it an awesome wine? No. But it is really good and just a perfect wine for how it was used. And at $15, I could drink this anytime.
2014 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles Adelaida District
91 points
I used to buy a good amount of this wine. I was in their Wine Club but seemed to have been kicked out for not buying enough I guess. I haven't tried this in years. This bottle was very good, but I think it needs a few more years. I still have some 03 thru 05's and should check in on them. Anyway, this is deep ruby in color. The nose has raspberries, cherries, roasted herbs, some black cherries and spice. On the palate, there are persistent tannins if not huge. Nice bright fruit with an underlying earthiness. Good acidity. Nice finish. IIRC, this is a GSM blend, but the red fruit dominates at least for now.
3 people found this helpful Comments (1)
2014 Castoro Cellars Zinfandel Reserve Zinfusion USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
87 points
This is good, but probably my least favorite wine. Hard to tell from the label but I presume quite a bit of Zin. Purple/ruby in color. The nose cherries and is slightly duty. On the palate, lighter cherries, some spice. This tastes more like what you might find at a large event or wedding. Certainly enjoyable but lacking. I would think it needs to be drunk up. No tannins, not much acidity. My note is coming off a bit too negatively as it is certainly worth drinking.
2014 Herman Story Grenache On The Road USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
90 points
This is a big wine. Purple in color. The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, slightly candied. On the palate, the nose carries thru. Also some licorice. Its got a nice texture. Some heat on the finish, but I think air would help that. Overall a fun wine but very good. I don't know if it improves, but its got time.
2 people found this helpful Comment
2009 McPrice Myers Syrah Larner Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
92 points
Seemed to be everyone's choice for WOTN. Purple in color. The nose has black raspberries, black pepper and slight violet notes. Big, full bodied. On the palate, good acidity. Lush with black raspberry fruit. Deep. Still solid tannins. Long finish with just a bit of warmth. Probably some upside from future cellaring but really delicious today. Food friendly with the hearty fare served.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 - Dessert (1 note)

Mini Pecan Pies along with Chocolate Truffles

Red - Fortified
1995 Tuke Holdsworth Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
89 points
My first time hearing of this house or trying its wines. Scott actually served two bottles. He had planned on blending them but were different enough so he served as is. They were very similar but one was certainly more elegant, refined and a better wine. The other had some green notes on the nose mostly, and a lot more heat on the finish. No idea if there were multiple bottlings of this. Both were purple in color. A nose with some black cherries, slight dark chocolate and a whiff of alcohol. On the palate, these were nice. Black cherry fruit. Slight sweetness. I don't remember anyone declaring 1995 a vintage year, so that is unusual. A fun finish.

Flight 4 - And a digestif to finish the evening. (1 note)

N.V. Patrice de Turckheim Eau de Vie de Marc d'Alsace France, Alsace
Gewurztraminer. Scott picked this up in his travels in Paris. Clear in color. The nose has a lot of alcohol but is also very pretty. Lychees, and floral notes (white flowers?). On the palate, viscous. Packs a fair amount of heat. Nice flavors to of citrus and lychees. Quite unusual. A little goes a long way, but this is nice.


Always a treat to be invited. Thank you. Some really cool wines.

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