Tobin James Cellars Paso Robles
This sizeable Paso Robles operation produces an extensive but exemplary range of wines at all price levels. There is also a sense of fun, with the wines which all have tongue in cheek brand names, many relating to less than lawful characters from the old American West. The winery is built on the site of an old stagecoach stop and the tasting room features an original 1860s Brunswick mahogany bar. The regular range of wines indeed offer a sense of fun and accessible drinking. The Sauvignon Blanc Sundance is bright and grassy but the reds are the mainstay. All impress for their vibrant, spicy fruit character and the rich and brambly Zinfandel Ballistic really stands out. The Chardonnay James Gang Reserve is, like the Sauvignon, sourced from cooler Monterey. Subtle melon and citrus mark the wine more than showy tropical fruit. Reserve reds are the basis of the reputation for quality here and all are very well worth seeking out. You may have to join the mailing list or visit the winery to get hold of them. The Meritage Private Stash is a restrained and elegant Bordeaux blend. Blue Moon Zinfandel is an extraordinarily dense, fiery and muscular example, the epitome of full-blown, dark, spicy Paso Robles Zin. The James Gang Reserve Syrah is opulent, dark and typically spicy, while the benchmark Syrah is the remarkable Blue Moon, sourced like all the best reds here from Westside fruit. The limestone-based, steeply sloped vineyards are barely more than a decade and a half old and stubbornly refuse to produce much more than half a ton per acre. The result is a wine of really impressive density, dimension and fiery intensity. Top reds deserve cellaring. (DM)
To find out more about Tobin James Cellars and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide California Central Coast..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines.