Best cabernet, Bordeaux-style, and red wines in Paso Robles for the holidays in 2021
– Cabernet sauvignon wines are the big, bold, tannic wines that pair perfectly with holiday meals centered around meats like prime rib, roast beef, pork tenderloin, lamb, and venison. Lucky for us, Paso Robles is producing some outstanding cabernets and cab blends. Here is a selection of Paso Robles wines we recommend for your upcoming holiday meals. We received so many tasty red wines that we created separate lists for recommendations. See more recommendations on zinfandels, Rhone-style reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines below this list.
Top local red wine recommendations
Austin Hope 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – $56
This wine is deep ruby in color and has aromas of fresh black currants and cherries with subtle smoky notes and dried spices. On the palate, this luxurious wine shows blackberry, ripe cherry, vanilla bean, and brown butter. It’s full-bodied and rich, balanced by a touch of acidity and polished tannins.
Austin Hope Cabernet Franc – $87
This cab franc is a medium-bodied wine that displays a deep red hue. Its herbaceous and spicy aromas carry through to the palate where flavors of black current and dark fruit add to the weight of the wine. It finishes with fine dusty tannins that leave a velvety texture that lingers.
Brecon Estate 2018 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – $82
This sophisticated blend of 95% Brecon estate cabernet sauvignon and 5% Brecon petit verdot presents a broad spectrum of flavors. Only 129 cases were produced.
Donati Family Vineyard 2018 Family Reserve Petit Verdot – $50
This wine has aromas of violets, blueberry cobbler, and leather strap leading to big boysenberry and blueberry fruit on the palate with a long and lingering finish and notes of coffee and hazelnut.
Dubost 2019 Vingence – $75
A delicious cab-based red blend, aged in small French oak barrels. It’s an elegant full-bodied wine with aromas of blueberries and black cherries. It delivers red fruit flavors with a smooth finish. It was one of our favorites.
Four Sisters Ranch 2017 Opalescence – $36
This blend of 81% estate cabernet sauvignon and 19% estate malbec is fruit-forward with balanced red fruit across the palate. The cabernet is grown in a cooler hillside block near the Estrella River and has a longer growing season with more intense color and flavor. The malbec is hand-picked from the four short rows of vines on top of the terraced hill and adds a soft texture and mouthfeel, as well as some plum and blackberry.
Heart of the Matter 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – $35
A fine, full-bodied, red wine with an elegant garnet color. It opens with juicy black cherries and a hint of cedar box. It delivers delicious red fruit flavors and a velvety tannic finish. It pairs well with red meats like prime rib and filet mignon.
Highlands 41 2019 Black Granite – $15
An affordable red blend that was aged in oak for ten months. It has a bright color and high fruit intensity, with flavors of raspberry, blackberry and plum, with notes of spice and brown sugar. This is an approachable, well-integrated wine with soft tannins and a smooth finish. It earned 90 points from Wine Enthusiast.
Justin Vineyards and Winery 2019 Justification – $60
A blend of 51% cabernet franc and 49% merlot this deep ruby-purple wine is elegant and assertive with notes of black cherries, ripe plums and raspberry preserves balanced by vanilla, star anise, cinnamon, and toasted oak. Nearly full-bodied, ripe blackberries and black currants with elements of cedar and baking spices on entry, leading to notes of savory herbs and hints of dried rose petals.
Kula Vineyards 2019 Fireworks – $38
This red has inky-dark color with dynamic flavors of dark berry, licorice, and black pepper. Decant for an hour or more before enjoying to enhance the flavor. This bold, 100% petite sirah, was aged in French oak barrels for 22 months and is perfect for more aging in your wine cellar for many years.
Line Shack 2018 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – $26
This wine is jammy and fruit-forward in style with flavors of black cherry, currants, and red licorice; and aromas of mocha, leather, violets and vanilla. It has medium tannins and a toasty lingering finish. It’s 85% cabernet sauvignon and 15% petite sirah. It was barrel-aged in 20% new French oak for over nine months. It’s a great value in this category. Pair with braised beef short ribs, roasted duck breast, and Osso Bucco. It won gold medals at the California State Fair and the OC Wine Competition.
Line Shack 2018 Petite Sirah – $22
This wine is ripe and balanced with deep dark color and a flood of plum, dark cherry, blueberry, pomegranate, and aromas of mocha, vanilla and oak spice. It’s 90% petite sirah and 10% syrah. Pair it with hearty red pasta dishes, pizza, and spicy Thai food. It won a gold medal at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition.
Loma Seca Vineyards 2019 Petite Sirah – $48
An intense wine that offers a dark fruit nose with a hint of cigar box and cedar that carries through to the first impression on tasting along with white pepper and bramble notes. A medium body and soft tannins are balanced by nice acidity, giving the wine a lift on the palate followed by a long finish. Only 150 cases were produced.
Mitchella Vineyard and Winery 2017 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – $32
This estate cabernet sauvignon has a deep violet color, notes of black cherry, and green peppercorn, that finishes with aromas of black licorice and lavender. The plush fruit and earthy spice are supported by well-balanced and rich tannins.
Mystic Hills Vineyards 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – $30
This wine greets you with cream and cherry and a hint of smoke and cocoa on the nose. A blend of spice and cedar with a floral note is wonderfully balanced. The cream, smoke, and cherry carry onto the palate as well as tart cranberry with medium and steady tannins and acidity.
Mystic Hills Vineyards 2016 Gran Trio – $36
A blend of 60% cabernet sauvignon, 20% cabernet franc, and 20% merlot. This wine has aromas of dark fruit and fig combined with forest floor and mushroom. Herbaceous notes alongside leather on the nose and flavors of tart raspberry and earth coincide with a finish of creamy vanilla. This is a well-balanced wine with front tannins and bright acidity.
Paris Valley Road Estate Winery 2017 L’Entente – $75
Aromas of sweet baking spices blend well with red-ripe strawberry and fennel. This finessed blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 20% petit verdot, 10% merlot, 10% cabernet franc, and 5% malbec, carries a subtle oak treatment to highlight the fruit character of black cherries and plum. It is a medium-bodied wine with rich flavor and tannins that build to the middle and trail off to a smooth, elongated finish.
Penman Springs Vineyard 2018 Petite Sirah – $28
Aromas of earthy figs are followed by flavors of raspberries and blackberries. The finish is smooth and full-bodied. This wine is perfectly paired with lamb, duck or a blue cheese-topped filet.
Penman Springs Vineyard 2018 “Artisan Cuvee” Meritage – $34
A blend of 60% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot and 10% petit verdot, this wine has a dark ruby color and complex aromas of currant, oak, plum and earthy mocha. Bright up front palate shows intense berry fruit with a cassis edge opening up to a middle of plum and mocha flavors. Finishes with fine, soft tannin structure and vanilla oak. Gold Medal winner at the 2021 Mid-State Fair Wine Competition.
Penman Springs Vineyard 2017 “Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon – $35
This reserve cabernet is a beautiful ruby color with an amazing nose that hints of French oak and blackberries. Kept in the barrel for 24 months and then bottled for minimum six months before release, it is smooth all the way through with a classic cabernet sauvignon finish!
Rava Wines 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon – $48
This wine greets with rich aromas of toasted cherry and black currant with hints of black licorice and pepper. Notes of blackberry and dark chocolate on the palate are introduced with soft tannins. The wine’s full-bodied structure finishes with a bold and lavish finish.
Riboli Family 2019 Maddalena Cabernet Sauvignon – $16.95
This affordable cab shows ripe red fruit, including raspberry, plum, and spicy black cherry. Barrel aging contributes notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak spice. The mouth is round with a rich, silky texture that is framed by soft tannins.
Riverstar Vineyards 2016 Affinity – $28
This wine, a blend of 56% cabernet sauvignon, 33% merlot, and 11% zinfandel, has ripe cherry, and a hint of mint and spice on the nose. The body has notes of cherry, currant and mocha, with vanilla and spice on the long finish. The 2016 Affinity was awarded 91 points from the Wine Enthusiast and 90 points from Vinous.
San Simeon 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – $70
On the nose, tasters will encounter the notes of French and American oak barrels with aromas of baking spices and vanilla intermingling with notes of ripe dark fruits. On the palate, there are flavors of blackberry and ripe plum, followed by touches of cocoa. It earned 90 points from Wine Enthusiast.
Sea Shell Cellars 2018 Low Tide Cabernet Sauvignon – $36
This wine exudes an aroma of bright, vibrant fruit upon pouring into the glass. Candied raspberries, cassis and a hint of roasted coffee beans and tart cherries slowly give way to notes of blackberries, vanilla bean, and baking spice, finishing with a pleasant medium-bodied tannin.
Seven Angels Cellars 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – $42
This wine opens with notes of gentle floral and soft leather with hints of violet and dark currents on the nose. Well-balanced flavors of woodsy black currant and warm vanilla tease the palate. It’s a full-bodied wine that pairs perfectly with a grilled ribeye. It won a silver medal at the 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Sextant Wines 2019 Kamal Cabernet Sauvignon – $54
This wine, composed of 82% cabernet sauvignon, 12% merlot, and 6% petite verdot is complex without complication, featuring range and depth beginning with upfront aromas of ripe strawberry, potpourri, cedar, and lavender. A riot of dark fruits follows led by acai berry and black plums and traces of wet granite and minerality – all lifted by bright acid. The well-structured crushed-velvet tannins give way to a long finish.
Shale Oak Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2015 Mercurey – $100
This is an archetypal Paso Robles cab, described by the winemaker as a “beast of cabernet.” It’s 100% cab and was aged for four years on new French Oak. It is big and rich with incredibly smooth tannin and only 92 cases were produced.
Tackitt Family Vineyards 2018 Petit Sirah – $40
With its bold and irresistible perfume of whiskey, buttercream, and roses, this wine shouts to be savored. It has a rich texture and body, along with flavors of cocoa and currant – satisfying from the first swirl to the last sip. This wine received a silver medal in the Sunset Magazine Competition.
Tackitt Family Vineyards 2018 Rendezvous – $38
This Bordeaux blend greets the nose with unexpected nuances of licorice and candied ginger. Flavors of oaky vanilla and dark cherry lead to a savory finish with a touch of leather. This wine’s beautiful lingering finish is balanced with good acidity and tannins.
Twin Coyotes Winery 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon – $38
This cabernet sauvignon is savory and full-bodied, with smoky, spicy flavors, and aromas of cedar and spice. It is a well-balanced wine that pairs well with steak, burgers, flavorful and heartier red pasta sauces, lamb, portabella mushrooms, and gouda or aged cheddar cheese.
Victor Hugo Winery 2018 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – $28
This bold wine has aromas of plum, black cherry and dark chocolate with wisps of allspice, complimented by a background of subtle oak. Rich flavors with layers of tannins and oak give it an elegant finish. It’s ready to pour now and will continue to improve with cellaring for the next four to eight years.
See more Paso Robles wine recommendations
• Best local sparkling wines
• Best local rosé wines
• Best local white wines
• Best local zinfandel wines
• Best local Rhone-style red wines and red blends
• Best cabernet, Bordeaux-style, and red wines
• Best local dessert wines
Publisher’s note: For the eighth year in a row we thought it would be a great idea to recommend local wines for the holidays. Once again, we received an amazing amount of participation from our local wineries. Over the last two weeks, we received more than 100 entries. After tasting and tasting and tasting, there were many solid, well-made wines to recommend. We have created several lists of top local wines into categories. The recommended wines above are in alphabetical order.