Paso Creek Merlot 2011
Merlot from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
- red wine
- Earthy & Spicy
- 13.5% abv
Bold flavors of blackberries, cherries, currants and spice complimented by sturdy tannins and balanced acidity, all leading to a rich, long finish.
Blend: 80% Merlot, 10% Petite Sirah, 6% Malbec, 4% Petite Verdot
Paso Creek Winery
Paso Robles is a wine-growing region like few others in California — or the world, for that matter. And it's where Paso Creek makes it stand in pursuit of the bold, brash flavors that have given Paso Robles its reputation (both literally and figuratively) as a "hot" new region for Zinfandel and Bordeaux varietals.
Though the Paso Robles AVA is located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, it couldn't be further away from the mentality of those hectic fair-weathered urban environs. The vibe here is decidedly laid back and agrarian. But don't be fooled by the casual atmosphere. This is serious wine country. That is, without the serious attitude.
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About Central Coast
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable Facts Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.