Villa Creek Cellars Paso Robles
Warehouse operation run by restaurateur Cris Cherry. The wines are the epitome of modern, fleshy, vibrant Paso Robles reds and are undoubtedly among the best and most exciting reds in an already exciting region. The fact that they are extremely affordable is another great bonus. The Avenger and Willow Creek red are both Rhône blends, the Willow Creek bottling with a higher proportion of Syrah, the Avenger dominated more by Grenache. Garnacha is 100% Grenache, with lovely ripe herb spice berry fruit character. Like all the wines here the pH is high but the wines are never manipulated or acidified. The Mas de Maha is a new development, a blend of Tempranillo, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Carignan very much in the style of new wave Rioja but with more exuberant fruit. The most recent vintage being 2009. The top label High Road is Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache. Very dense and powerfully structured, it is one of the region’s top reds. The fruit comes from the James Berry Vineyard, itself one of the best sources in the region and from which a varietal example is also now released. Continuing the Rhône theme Syrah has also been released from the Bassetti Vineyard and other red releases have included a Mourvèdre labelled Damas Noir, La Boda a Syrah and Mourvèdre blend and Trovador which combines Syrah and Carignan. A premium Cabernet Sauvignon (£F) is also now made from the coastal Carver Vineyard at York Mountain. A well priced white (£D) and labelled as such is a blend of Grenache and Roussanne which comes from the James Berry Vineyard as does a varietal Roussanne. Unlike the other, more accessible reds the High Road deserves 4 or 5 years’ patience. (DM)
To find out more about Villa Creek 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.