Archive for January, 2010

Great News for Dubost Winery

Friday, January 29th, 2010

The Dubost family in Paso Robles sent this Tempranillo review conducted by the UCSD Med School Wine Group – pick up your bottle of Tempranillo at The Wine Closet today:

“…wanted to share this review from a UCSD Med School wine group. ”

Begin forwarded message:
From: David Rapaport <>
Date: January 11, 2010 7:23:58 PM PST
Subject: Our Tempranillo Tasting
Dear Kate and Curt,
   Wanted to let you know that the Dubost 06 Tempranillo arrived first thing in the morning on Saturday, well in time for our evening Tempranillo tasting.  Thank you so much for providing the bottle, leaving us the unexpected Carmenere to try at our leisure, and for getting it here on time.  You will be pleased to know that of the 7 Tempranillos at the tasting the Dubost was the number one rated by the group (based on the UCD ratiing scale and then giving a “group score” based on- 3 points for each person who rated it number one, 2 for each second place…).  Five of the tasters rated the Dubost the number one wine and almost everyone placed it in the top 3.  For your information I attach a summary so you can see the competition.  There was, in fact, a seventh wine, funnily enough the most expensive ($50). but it was clearly corked so no one wanted to have anything to do with it and the couple that brought it were keen to return it to the wine shop from which they purchased it.  The numbers represent the group score of each wine with the large font number indicating the top 3 group scores.
   FYI, our wine group, fondly called The Oenophiliacs, is a group of friends, mostly colleagues who work and teach at UCSD School of Medicine, but including others from varying walks of life.  We have been together for over 15 years and I dare say that our monthly tasting are the highlight of most of our social calendars.  My wife Kathy and I urged all Oenophiliacs to visit you when then go to Paso Robles, and I suspect you will get some of us.  I know we look forward to our next visit.








Marques de CaceresGran Reserva



$35- Whole Foods





Cellar Door

Paso de Paso2008

La Mancha

$9- La Costa Wine Co.

Navarro Lopez2004


$13- Bev Mo

Cala Blanca2008

La Mancha

$16- Bev Mo

Cepa 212006

Ribera de Duero

$26- La Costa Wine Co.

VC Star Reader’s Choice Awards

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Click the link below to participate in the 2010 Ventura County Star’s Reader’s Choice Awards and be sure and vote for The Wine Closet in all the categories that pertain to our business such as:

Best/Favorite: Wine Bar, Wine Tasting, Wine Store

Thank you!


VinoAir Aerator

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Looking for a wine aerator that’s easy to use and works great?  Check out the VinoAir Wine Aerator – The Wine Closet not only sells these little gizmo’s (which are 1/2 the price of the Vinturi), but we also use them, everyday here in the tasting room.  The VinoAir has a dual air chamber which creates a vacuum effect for increased aeration, the soft rubber seal creastes an air-tight seal in the bottle neck and the return air valve enables non-drip pours – my favorite perk.  Price is $19.

Find wine tasting events in your neighborhood

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Did you know you could visit and view wine tasting events in your neighborhood?  The Wine Closet posts its Thursday night tastings on this site so if you’re interested in what’s going on around town, check it out.

Dubost Family Winery

Friday, January 15th, 2010

The Wine Closet had the pleasure of  co-hosting a wine tasting with Kate and Curt Dubost from Dubost Ranch Winery of Paso Robles last night. This winery is truly family owned and operated and the Dubost Ranch, located in the Adelaida area of Paso Robles (among the Far Out wineries of Paso Robles Westside), has been in the family for 5 generations. The winery is new, made of rice straw bale and represents the Dubost’s family values and respect for the land where they practice sustainable farming of a variety of vines including Tempranillo, Carmenere, Negret, Chardonnay, Syrah, Grenache ,Viognier and Roussanne. There’s probably more, but this is a good idea of the varietal range with which winemaker (and eldest son of Kate), Jacob Raines, who is a young 30 something, is stepping up and producing wines of distinction in this area.

Following are my notes from the 5 wines tasted last night:

’08 Alexandrine, 75% Viognier & 25% Roussanne – I love the aromas in Viognier, exotic floral and delicate citrus and apple in this one. It’s a crisper styled Rhone White, yet still benefits from the signature creamy mouthfeel. Flavors are all about stone fruits which carries on through the lingering finish. Nicely balanced between fruit and acidity. $22

’07 Homestead Red, Tempranillo, Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah – A fresh and fruity, crowd-pleasing blend that’s slightly masculine as well (probably from the Tempranillo and Petite). It’s medium to full-bodied with flavors and aromas of dark fruits, herbs, and subtle oak char that acts as a fruit tamer and balances out the wine. $16

’06 Syrah – This was one of the favorites among tasters, but not your typical over-the-top styled Central Coast Syrah with high alcohol, this one is meatier, aged 30 months in 60% new and 40% neutral French oak barrels. Loaded with pepper spice and a hint of spearmint making it a lovely wine to pair with grilled lamb. $20

’06 Tempranillo (100% Tempranillo) – Tempranillo is one of my favorite varietals these days, I find we make them very well here in California and look forward to trying more.  The fruit is pure and abundant, with great aromas of cigar, spice and chocolate…almost like enjoying a spicy espresso in a cigar bar – sounds strange, but it’s the best description I can muster. I enjoyed it thoroughly. $28

’05 Gran Reserva, 50/50 Tempranillo & Grenache – The ‘Gran Reserva’ label is reserved for those wines aged at least 2 years prior to bottling. This one was aged for a total of 4 years; the two varietals were aged separately for 2 years, Tempranillo in new French oak and the Grenache in neutral hogshead barrels, they were then blended and aged for another year in the neutral hogshead barrels – but wait, there’s more…once bottled, the wine was again aged for an additional year prior to release. That said, this wine is big, bold, smooth and elegantly styled. Loaded with dark plums that’s also meaty, leathery and nutty – love it!  $32

Kudos to this new little family winery. I’ll definitely visit the next time I’m in Paso Robles as the company of both Curt and Kate was such a pleasure, the evening went by so quickly. I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the family.


The brilliant half bottle

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

I love half bottles, although I also love 750’s, magnums and whatever other size wine comes in — it’s all good, but the idea behind the half bottle is quite brilliant. Say you’re going on a picnic, just you and that special someone you’d share a picnic with, and you’d enjoy a glass of wine with your picnic lunch…since most of us don’t drink enormous amounts of wine during lunch anyway, the half bottle is the perfect take-along. You get a couple glasses and it’s gone, no trying to cram the cork back in the bottle or remembering to stow away the undrunk portion in your trunk or whatever inconvenient issue you may have with leftover wine. The idea of not having to “preserve” the remaining wine until the next time you get to it and then end up dumping it anyway, why not spend less…well, for less? Many terrific handcrafted wines now come in half bottle sizes, not just crappy wines these days. Many with corks, many with stelvin closures (which is easier on a picnic anyway).

What about Champagne or Sparkling Wine?  Most times a glass or two is ideal and if it’s a special bottle, you might feel pressured to drink more in an effort not to waste it – half bottles are perfect!

Many believe half bottles are reserved for dessert wines, but look out for them, they’re out there.


Aerators – You like?

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Here’s an interesting article regarding aerators and whether or not they actually do work (or help) to aerate wine…

I prefer the VinoAir or the Vinturi, both have the Venturi chamber, one is half the price of the other,,,



Dubost Winery…preserving a family heritage

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Kate Dubost of Dubost Ranch Winery from the Adelaida area of West Paso Robles will be here at The Wine Closet to taste us on her new lineup of wines. We’ll start with a tasty Viognier/Roussanne blend, then taste the Homestead Red Tempranillo blend, Syrah, 100% Tempranillo and their Gran Reserve Tempranillo/Garnacha blend.

In it’s 5th generation, Dubost Ranch is entirely family-owned and operated. They’re dedicated to the production of premium, limited quantity wines handcrafted from locally grown grapes. Not to mentiion that Kate is hoot and will keep us all entertained throughout the evening.

Tasting is $15 per person and includes 5 wines and appetizers – this Thursday, 1/14 from 6-9pm.

Goddess of Wine blog about TWC

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Check out this blog written by Denise Lowe, Goddess of wine, who visited The Wine Closet this past weekend during her tour of Ventura County Wine Country…