Merlot is one of the main Bordeaux varietals and grows well in Paso Robles. This brick red Merlot has a full nose of rose petals, dried cherries, and boysenberries framed by dark chocolate and baking spices. The mouth begins with blueberries and strawberries and finishes with medium tannins and moderate vanilla oak. This wine is a great alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon when you are looking for something a tad softer with more elegance. You’ll find this wine is great with any cheese, roasted meats, or vegetable dish.
Castoro Cellars was established in 1983 by husband and wife team, Niels and Bimmer Udsen, with the goal of producing world-class wines from Paso Robles, CA. Being over 35 years old, Castoro Cellars is one of the oldest wineries in the Paso Robles AVA and has played a major role in the development of the region.
The winemaker, Tom Myers, has been making wine in Paso Robles since 1978 and joined the Castoro team in 1990. Tom received his Bachelor of Science, followed by his Masters of Science, in Biological Science/Botany from Michigan State University. His interest in winemaking brought him west, to the University of California at Davis, where he received his Masters in Food Science with an Enology/Viticulture focus. Tom is one of the most highly respected winemakers in California.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven Central Coast wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.