Posts Tagged ‘paso robles’

Under the influence of the wine label? Guilty as charged.

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Orin Swift - PapillonOh go ahead and call the wine police. I’ll confess. Have I bought under the influence of the wine label? Yes sir, officer! Guilty as charged.

But, admit it. We’ve all done it. Sure we research the vintage tasting notes, read the reviews online, keep current on the industry trends, and mine feedback on our apps. But when you’re running late for that dinner party, you’ve left your phone in the car, and there isn’t a soul to ask for a recommendation, what does it come down to? That’s right…the label.

And really, what’s wrong with that?

Chonic Cellars - Sofa King BuenoAfter all, we taste with our eyes first. We swirl the wine, pontificate its color, its brilliance, its opacity, its legs. It’s our eyes that set the stage ripe with anticipation, setting the expectations of what will soon roll over our tongue. And yet, we discard the label as unimportant, a decoration, a distraction, a rookie mistake. Isn’t the label really our first taste of the vino goodness to come? And if it isn’t, shouldn’t it be?

Still not convinced? Consider some of our favorite wine labels in the shop.

 Orin Swift PapillonOrin Swift - The PrisonerOrin Swift - Saldo

Orin Swift
Strong, bold and arresting with layers of complexity in the storytelling. From Papillon’s hands of third generation Napa Valley grape grower and winemaker Vince Tofanelli to Saldo’s striking red and white label maker label, Orin Swift’s labels offer a visual amuse bouche of what awaits inside.




Herman Story - On the Road, Nuts & Bolts, and TomboyHerman Story
Fresh and forward, saturated, and yet, balanced, Herman Story’s labels reach out and grab you without even a line of front text. It’s pure experience: lush, vivid and focused. And just when you think you’ve got the blend of vineyards figured out, it slaps you with a barrage of words and smirk on the back label.



Owen Roe - Sinister HandOwen Roe - Yakima RedOwen Roe
Conversation starter and finisher. Owen Roe visually tempts your taste buds with a master blend of historical richness and salt of the earth earnestness, all delivered with a wink and a smile. Look no further than Owen Roe’s Sinister Hand label. Ominous yet tempting, it tells the tale of a rowing race won by a competitor slicing off his hand and tossing it on shore to be the first to touch, and ultimately become king. Determined, focused, arresting…or at the very least, a great party conversation starter.

Sans Liege - ProphetessSans Liege - GroundworkSans Liege - Cotes-Du-CoastSan Liege
Tasting this Thursday (5/12) at The Wine Closet with the winemaker himself!
Seductive, enrapturing and powerful, San Liege promises an “anthology of sensory travels” from first glance. A visual feast rich with layers of emotion, temptation and longing, San Liege’s labels deliver that first bite of the forbidden bottled inside.

And with that your honor, I rest my case and give it to the jury. What wine designs have caught your eye and tempted your palate?

Davina DaVino


Bottled Passion – Bodega de Edgar

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Bodega de Edgar

What makes a good wine great and a great wine unforgettable? Passion. It might not be heading the tasting notes, but you taste it on the palate and you feel it on finish. It’s the culmination of every decision – from soil selection to aging – being driven by the winemaker’s unyielding commitment to pour every ounce of themselves, their experience, and their journey into bottled perfection. It’s both undeniable and unexplainable, but it’s present in the best. And there are few that it’s more present than in local winemaker Edgar Torres’ Bodega de Edgar wines.

Edgar Torres’ wines are handcrafted masterpieces. No surprise really, as Edgar started his journey surrounded by amazing wines as a waiter at the famous Villa Creek Restaurant, and developed from cellar rat to winemaker under the tutelage of McPrice Myers (McPrice Myers Wines) and Russell From (Herman Story Wines), two outstanding winemakers in their own rite. What Edgar pours into every vintage is his love of the art and of the land culminating in a passion for and commitment to small production, natural wines. Sourcing the same grapes as Meyers and From, Bodega de Edgar’s wines undergo natural fermentation (no yeast added), where the natural heat of Paso Robles and the yeast within the grape skin initiate fermentation, allowing the varietal and vineyard designate to pronounce itself from nose to finish.

Bodega de Edgar - BottlingAs with most masterpieces, they’re few in number and hard to come by. Bodega de Edgar’s lots are small and purposely so focusing on quality over quantity. Edgar’s Grenache/Syrah blend, E2, for example, has only 45 cases produced. His Garnacha? A select 100 cases. And his Albarino? 310 cases. But we’ve got all three, and we’re the only shop in the area that does.

This Thursday night (4/7) we’re pouring all three (E2, Garnacha, and Albarino) limited releases plus Bodega de Edgar’s newly bottled ’09 Tempranillo and ’07 Syrah. Come by and taste the passion!


Davina DaVino

Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

The brand new release of Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Zin is on the shelf at $21. This is a blend of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah. Chronic Cellars wines are extremely popular so get yours while you can.

2007 McPrice Myers Cuvee Kristina

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

2007 McPrice Myers Cuvée Kristina
The Wine Closet is featuring this wine as the wine of the month. Special pricing online at The Wine Closet (  Buy Now!! Retail price was $48.00, Now $43.50

98% Syrah, 2% Viognier
121 cases produced
23 months in French Oak, 80% new
Aging Potential: 6-8+ years
This wine is a blend from three vineyards:  Three Creek, Les Galets, Larner Vineyards
30% whole cluster fermentation, in small open top bins, followed by 30-35 days on the skins, with pump -overs during cold soak and punch downs during fermentation. 24 months on lees, in 228 and 265 liter barriques.

Super dark ruby-violet… incredibly sexy nose, blood orange, lavender field, milk chocolate, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, black cherry, tapenade… pomegranate, vanilla French roast, rose petal, lupine, orange rind…looooong finish. Rich, powerful, robust

Santa Ynez & Paso Robles Wine Tour

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Courtesy of Mark Johnson, Commander Products

We went wine tasting last week (Wednesday through Saturday) touring Santa Rita Hills, Lompoc, Los Olivos and all around Paso Robles. Plus I attended two mega Rhone tastings at the Hospice du Rhône in Paso There is mucho to report!

Here are a few of the items I will review later this week:

Which wineries sucked in Santa Barbara County? Who were the few that passed muster?

Which highly rated restaurant in Solvang got a ho-hum report from us?

I tasted 3 all new releases from Saxum  and they were all great. But, whose other wine did I taste that was just as good (that you can actually buy) for much less money?

What is the name of a stunning new tasting room in Paso that should have spent less on the beautiful building and more on a real winemaker?

What is the name of a new restaurant in Paso that might take the crown from Artisan Restaurant as the best restaurant in town?

Which wines from Booker Winery already sold out in their first week of release? And I got to taste them (and buy them) and I must say they are fantastic.

What Paso winery is putting out the best wines across the board?

All above will be reported and posted here within a week so stay tuned…Linda

Paso Robles Stakes Claim…

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Paso Robles wine country in the news – check out this article in USA Today…

St. Patricks Day Party, RiverStar Vineyards, Friday Night Flights

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

We’re starting the week off early on Wednesday with a St Patty’s Day Celebration starting at 5:00pm with $5 Guiness, $5 O’Rielly wines (from David O’Rielly of Owen Roe wines and traditional Irish grub until 9:00pm. Note: nothing you’ll consume will be green, I promise, but please feel free to wear some green if you please.

This Thursday, 3/18 RiverStar Vineyards of Paso Robles will be visiting and educating us on their lineup of small production wines that are packed with flavor. I’m always in search of those small, family owned and operated wineries who made fab wines for everyday drinking – in other words, RiverStar is great wine that fits nicely into anyones budget.

Come out and taste for yourself 5 RiverStar wines and appetizers for $15, 3/18 between 6-9pm.

Flight night Friday from 5:00-9:00pm. Enjoy a different flight every Friday night for only $10. Pair with a cheese plate for $7 more. This Friday Night Flight (3/19): Santa Barbara County.

Remember, whomever comes to the most flight nights from now until May 31st will get a FREE seat on our Santa Rita Hills Wine Country tour in early June – dates yet to be determined, but let me know if you’re interested & I’ll put you on the list!

To view upcoming tasting events, visit us at

New Items:
Plumpjack Cabernet
Owen Roe Ex Umbris
Carina Cellars
McPrice Myers Kristina & Les

Looking for a great venue to have a private party? The Wine Closet can be yours for a night for groups of 25 or less. Call Linda for details 805.746.5708.

Pick up a bottle of wine from The Wine Wine Closet to enjoy with dinner at JJ Brewsky’s, Verona Trattoria or D’Amore’s Pizza and enjoy free corkage! Great wine deserves great food!

Check out our entire selection of wine online at

Retail store hours: Tues & Weds 11-7pm, Thurs & Fri 11-9pm, Saturday 11-7pm, Closed Sunday & Monday (for now).

We look forward to seeing you here.

Linda & Rob
The Wine Closet
Old Town Camarillo
2423 Ventura Boulevard

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.

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.


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.