Our final stop before heading on to Sacramento and the wine judging was Eberle Winery (www.eberlewinery.com), which is owned by Gary Eberle and is one of the pioneering wineries in Paso Robles. Gary was an outstanding football player at Penn State in the 60’s and while pursuing a doctorate in zoology at LSU, was introduced to wine by a professor. So he was bit by the bug as we say in the industry. He switched to UC Davis and into the winemaking doctoral program. Gary is also a long time friend of ours and this was our first opportunity to actually visit his winery. Every winery we stopped at had high praise for Gary as he is considered the “father” of the Paso Robles wine industry and has mentored many of the other wineries in Paso Robles. He opened his doors in 1983 after co-founding the Paso Robles appellation.
One of the neat features of Gary’s winery is the series of underground caves where all of their barrels are resting. In addition, they have dinners and special tasting events in the caves. It would be a wonderful experience. Both our tour of the caves and tasting of the wines was done by Kathy.
On to the wines. Here is a selection of what we tasted:
2007 Viognier – this was one of the nicest Viogniers we have tasted lately. It had classic floral/apricot aromas with excellent melon and peachy flavors. Delightful.
2007 Chardonnay – this is a wonderfully complex wine with some lemon and citrus aromas and lingering pineapple and green apple flavors with a touch of vanilla from the oak.
2006 Barbera – excellent example of Barbera...a bit of raspberry in the nose with lots of chocolate and a nice bit of spiciness in the long, lingering finish. Soft tannins make this wine velvety on the tongue.
2006 Cotes-du-Robles – This deeply colored, rich wine, is a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, and Grenache with a bit of Viognier. There is a hint of earthiness to add to the complexity and beautifully integrated oak.
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon – This is their flagship Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. It is very rich with lots of dark fruits, black cherry and currants…very soft and just bursting with flavor. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and one of the nicest examples I have tasted.
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah – this is an interesting combination and is a 50/50 blend. There is some blueberry and meaty flavors that come from the Syrah with lots of plum and some cherry from the Cabernet Sauvignon. Very nice wine with lots of structure and a lasting finish.
That concludes our visit to Paso Robles for this visit. We will certainly be back as we have barely scratched the surface of this growing wine region. The wines are very impressive and we look forward to our next visit.