Nebbiolo Enthusiasts & Believers

The Nebbiolo Enthusiasts & Believers (NEB) was hosted at the Domenico Winery tasting room in San Carlos, CA. I tasted wines from Harrington, Domenico, Castelli, Rosa d’Oro, Idlewild, Silver, Prima Materia, Tocata and Giornata.

Wes Barton of Harrington Wines
Wes Barton at NEB
2012 Harrington Terrane
2015 Harrington Corvina
2011 Castelli Fosco
2011 Castelli Fosco
2013 Idlewild Nebbiolo
2013 Idlewild Nebbiolo
2012 Prima Materia Nebbiolo
Prima Materia
2012 Rosa D’Oro Montepulciano
2012 Rosa D'Oro Montepulciano

About NEB
For over five years, there has been a small group of winemakers who are passionate about producing world-class Nebbiolo in the US. Their organization is called NEB (Nebbiolo Enthusiasts & Believers). They have made remarkable progress over the years through this collaboration.

Paso Robles Rhone Rangers

I start my wine events of the new year with the annual Paso Robles Chapter of the Rhone Rangers. Held again at the Broken Earth Winery, located along Highway 46 East. Atop of the hill, this winery is a perfect place to taste Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Viognier and many other varietals and blends. The day started with the Rhone Essentials seminar presented by the winemaker. Followed by a lunch with a winemaker, before heading off to the Grand Tasting featuring 41 producers.


Rhone Essentials Seminar

2015 Halter Ranch Dry Rose
onion skin color. floral, strawberry, cherry, citrus. medium-plus acid. 87 points

2014 Four Lanterns Lamplight Viognier
straw color. pear, white peach, white flowers, crushed rocks, musky spice, touch of residual sugar. medium acid, medium-plus alcohol. 88 points

2014 Cass Winery Roussanne
straw body, silver rim, in the color. honey, peach, chamomile, honeydew melon, minerals. medium-plus acid. 88 points.

2014 Calcareous Vineyard White Rhone Blend
darker straw color. tropical fruit, musky, backing spice, coconut. medium acid. (blend: Viognier, Rousanne, Grenache Blanc) 90 points.

2012 Broken Earth Winery Grenache
garnet body, ruby rim, in the color. strawberry, cherry, raspberry, black licorice. structured well. 89 points.

2013 Adelaida Cellars Anna’s Reserve Mourvedre
dark garnet leading out to a ruby rim. plum, raspberry, currants, spices. medium-plus acid. 90 points.

2012 Alta Colina Winery Old 900 Syrah
inky, ruby rim, in color. black cherry, blackberry, plum, smoked meat, clove, pepper. medium-plus acid, medium-plus alcohol. 88 points.

2012 Pomar Junction The Crossing Red Rhone Blend
ruby core, magenta rim, in the color. strawberry, cherry, blackberry, earth, smoky spice, instant coffee, clove, cinnamon, oak. 90 points.

2013 ONX Winery Petite Sirah
purple core, pink rim, in the color. plum, blackberry, pepper, clove. medium-plus acid, medium-plus tannins. wine needs 5-10 years to settle down. 88 points.

Grand Tasting

This year I stopped by 13 producers, tasting 23 wines. Among the producers found a few new gems, Brecon Estate, Calcareous Vineyard and Tooth & Nail.


2013 Adelaida Cellars: garnet, ruby, in color. raspberry, blackberry, black pepper, earth, clove. medium-plus acid, medium tannins. 91 points.
2012 Tooth & Nail: garnet, ruby, in color. cherry, blackberry, pepper, bacon fat, pepper, smoke. medium-plus acid, medium tannins. 90 points.

2014 Brecon Estate: ruby red, color. cherry, raspberry, sweet spice of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. medium plus acid, medium tannins. 90 points.

2007 Calcareous Vineyard: garnet core, orange rim, in color. cherry, blackberry, smoky meat, pepper. medium-plus acid, medium tannins, medium-plus alcohol. 89 points.

2013 Eberle Winery: ruby red, color. cherry, raspberry, plum, earth, black pepper. medium-plus acid, medium-plus tannins. 88 points.

2013 Justin: inky, red, in color. black cherry, raspberry, plum, pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, oak. medium-plus acid, medium-plus tannins. 87 points.


2014 Brecon Estate: ruby red color. cherry, blackberry, plum, chocolate, spice, cinnamon. medium-plus acid, medium-plus tannins. 88 points.

Rhone Blends

2013 Justin Trilateral: (81% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 4% Mourvèdre) inky, ruby red, in the color. black cherry, plum, blackberry, pepper, sweet spice, cinnamon, clove, baking spices, hot finish. medium-plus acid, high alcohol. 89-90 points.

2013 Zenaida Wanderlust: (50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre) light garnet core, ruby rim, in the color. black plum, dark cherry, raspberry, earth, pepper, savory meat, earth, clove, cinnamon. medium-plus acid, medium-plus tannins. 89-90 points.

2013 Calcareous Vineyard SMG: (Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache) garnet body, ruby rim, in the color. ripe fruit, cherry, blackberry, sweet spice, pepper, clove. medium-plus acid, medium tannins, medium-plus alcohol. 88 points.

2013 Burbank Ranch GSM: (50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 10% Mouvredre) ruby red color. cherry, raspberry, earth, sage. medium-plus acid, medium tannins. 87 points.