Saturday, August 22, 2009

California 2009 – Tobin James Wines, Day Two in Paso Robles

You can tell that the folks at Tobin James ( are into fun.  They have a completely Southwestern theme and they call themselves the James Gang.  There is an incredible bar-b-cue area outside that is actually difficult to describe.  Once again, Southwestern designs proliferate, as the huge fireplace, floor, surrounding brickwork, and even the tables and built in benches have Southwestern designs made with stone, ceramic and glass pieces.  It is truly a work of art.  They subtitle their wines with fun names like “Made in the Shade”, “Black Magic”, and “Ballistic”.

As I have mentioned before in this blog, they have the largest wine club in the world with over 19,000 members.  We just became one of them.  In addition, they have a very unique guest house.  It was originally built 110 years ago and used as a stagecoach stop.  Now it is beautifully remodeled with wrap around porch, feather beds and themed rooms.

Some of the wines we tasted:

2007 Sauvignon Blanc “Sundance” – nice, crisp fruit.  This is a very refreshing wine with some citrus and Kiwi.  Good example of the variety.  $14.00

2006 Chardonnay “James Gang Reserve” – my kind of Chardonnay.  Nice oak integration with excellent fruit balance.  Soft and long on the finish.  You know you are drinking Chardonnay. $25.00

2008 Syrah Rose’ “Paradise” – loads of fruit:  strawberry and mixed berries with a bit of peach.  A delightful summer wine.  $16.00

2006 Chateau Le Cacheflo – Those who know me know that I have been using the term Chateau cash flow for years….depicting a good, solid, inexpensive wine that a winery sells tons of.  I loved seeing the name on the label and this wine really fits the bill.  50% Syrah, 25% Sangiovese and 25% Barbera.  This is a great everyday spaghetti, roast beef, hamburger wine.  $11.50

2006 Merlot “Made in the Shade” – this wine was made with the newer “combination barrels”.  These are barrels coopered with a mix of French and American oak and even sometimes a mix of oak staves from different forests.  It had a nice smoky/black current character.  Really nice Merlot for only $16.00

2006 Syrah “Rock-n-Roll” lots of berries and spice.  Black and white pepper with some smokiness made this a really complex wine.  Excellent.  $18.00

2006 Petite Sirah “Black Magic” – 100% Petite Sirah.  Lots of plum, blackberry and vanilla.  This wine had incredible inky color and intensity.  $25.00

2006 Estate Private Stash “James Gang Reserve” – 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc, and 33% Merlot.  Rich and full bodied with cherry, cassis and a slight bit of anise.  Long finish with moderate tannins.  $48.00

Next Stop:  A new place called Derby Vineyards

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