Located between Monterrey and Santa Barbara, the Paso Robles AVA is not among the Central Coast’s cooler climates. Indeed, the Santa Lucia Mountain Range that forms the AVA’s western border, shields most of Paso Robles AVA from coastal fog and winds, which is why Zinfandel, Syrah and the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon feature prominently among Paso Robles wineries. On the other hand, because Paso Robles features the widest day-to-night temperature swing in California, red wines develop complex flavors over a long growing season. Diverse soils are another key feature of Paso Robles: granite, marine and volcanic rocks, calcareous shales and sandstone can often be found within the same vineyard block! With Castle Rock’s Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon you get a classic, dark, rich Cab at a price that merits midweek drinking. Pair it with beef, lamb or even spaghetti Bolognese.
Producing low-priced wine is not difficult in California – as long as one uses undistinguished central valley grapes. Yet Castle Rock Winery sells premium, handcrafted wines from the best appellations in California, Oregon and Washington at prices that match those wines labeled “California.” Castle Rock Winery’s secret to providing “appellation wines at affordable prices” is to operate as a kind of “virtual winery,” owning neither its own vineyards nor a winery. Instead it maintains close, long-term relationships with around forty growers in such areas as Monterey County, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Willamette Valley and Colombia Valley and leases state-of-the-art winemaking facilities in all three states. Winemaker August "Joe" Briggs works closely with the growers to ensure they produce the best quality fruit while overseeing the winemaking at the same time. This unique method of operating allows Castle Rock to avoid the “money pits” of land and fancy buildings that sink many wineries and focus everything on securing the best grapes and crafting delicious wines. Since the beginning in 1994, Castle Rock has focused particularly on Pinot Noir, making distinct bottlings from such key Pinot districts as Carneros, Russian River Valley and Willamette Valley. However, over the years the winery has also branched out into other popular varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Riesling. Though an oft-repeated wine country adage goes, “it takes a fortune to make a small fortune in the wine business,” Castle Rock Winery has shown there is a way to make captivating wines for the discerning drinker without deep pockets.
|Bottle Size||7.5 x 30.5|
|Case Size||32.0 x 24.5 x 31.0|
87 points – Wine Enthusiast.
Inky dark purple color. Aromas of dark berries and spice lead to a full-bodied, rounded palate with dark-red fruit flavors with hints of spice, vanilla and tobacco.