Best cabernet, Bordeaux-style, and red wines in Paso Robles for the holidays
–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 zinfandel, Rhone-style, white, rosé, and sparkling wines below this list.
Top local red wine recommendations
Austin Hope 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – $36
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.
Autry Cellars 2013 Petite Sirah – $38
Autry’s petite sirah is the winery’s flagship award-winning wine, having earned a double gold medal from the Toast of the Coast. It’s a reserved and elegant wine with a dark ruby color, aromas of coal and tobacco, and has assertive tannins. Pairs well with beef, game, hearty stews, and Italian dishes.
Brecon Estate 2017 Meritage – $57
An inky dark blend of petite verdot, cab franc, cabernet sauvignon, and malbec. The majority of the grapes were sourced from Becon’s old vines. This is a bold wine with thick tannins and will age well.
Broken Earth 2016 CV Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – $80
This is a plush example of Paso Robles ripeness, says Wine Enthusiast magazine, which gave it 93 points. Plump aromas of black cherry, vanilla and caramel are cut by pepper and herbs. The palate is soft and lush, but offers penetrating acidity that keeps the baking spice and blackberry flavors in balance. The term CV refers to the original vineyard holdings at the Broken Earth estate, Continental Vineyards, and this very limited wine is only produced in exceptional vintage years. Pairs well with steak and red meats.
Bushong 2018 Power, Corruption & Lies – $43
This delicious red wine is 67-percent tannat, 27-percent syrah, and 6-percent petite sirah. It’s rich with aromas and flavors of strawberry preserves, cassis, coriander, and sweet tobacco. It’s finely structured for balance in acid, fruit, tannin, and minerality. It will make a perfect accompaniment for your holiday meal. Winemaker Jason Bushong even made a Spotify pairing for the blend.
Bushong 2018 Tannat – $43
This wine, originally grown in the south of France, is a bold red that’s dense, rich, and focused. It has flavors and aromas of ripe blackberry and black fig with hints of fresh vanilla bean. The finish brings soft, chalky tannins and lingering flavors of cocoa powder and sweet tobacco. Cheers!
Castoro Cellars 2017 Due Mila Quattordici – $60
This is Castoro’s 11th version of this distinctive Bordeaux blend. They select the star lots from the harvest, blend them together, and then age the wine in their best barrels from a variety of forests and coopers to optimize its complexity, say owners Niels and Bimmer Udsen. The wine is deep purple in color with aromas of oak, black cherry, and violets. It is mildly spicy on the palate with black fruits and luscious tannins.
Halter Ranch 2017 Ancestor – $65
This fabulous wine is made from select barrels of cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and petit verdot. They were blended to create Halter Ranch’s flagship cuvée which offers aromas of berry compote and baking spices.
Justin 2017 Isosceles – $76
This is the wine that put Justin on the map more than a decade ago with numerous top scores and awards, making it a much-coveted Bordeaux-style blend. It’s still Justin’s flagship wine. It’s full-bodied, with ripe black fruit, complex barrel spice, and yet ready to drink right out of the gate. Have a bottle now and save a few for your cellar.
Justin 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – $28
With attractive aromas of black fruit and spice, this smooth, ready-to-drink wine is an archetypal Paso Robles cab. The grapes were hand-picked and berry-sorted for consistent quality and flavor. The wine then spends more than a year in traditional small oak barrels to impart depth and complexity, highlighting a balance of flavors and textures that are unique to the climate and soils of Paso Robles. It delivers aromas and flavors of black cherry, cassis, tobacco, and leather. It’s a great value in this category from a premium winemaker.
Liberty School 2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – $25
This a traditional cab and demonstrates the variety well. It has a garnet color, a nose of fresh vanilla, black currant, and a touch of smokiness. On the palate, it shows dark fruits, ripe cherry white pepper, and herbaceous notes. It’s a great value in this category
Loma Seca 2018 Estate Petite Sirah – $52
The grapes for this intense rich wine were grown in the Adelaida District AVA. The wine has deep dark fruit flavors, cherries, plums, and notes of pepper. It’s a very enjoyable food-friendly wine with well-balanced acidity.
LXV 2018 Cabernet Franc Reserve – $90
This cabernet franc was grown on the Haar Family Vineyard in the Adelaida District AVA. It’s elegant and fresh. The aromas are of juicy berries and the flavors deliver the same with smooth light tannins and slight earthiness. It’s a very approachable wine and ready to serve with your favorite holiday meal or all by itself. LXV continues its tradition of crafting superior wines with this vintage.
Mystic Hills 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – $28=
Dark, jammy fruit opens on the nose, followed by cherry, white pepper and a hint of mushroom on the back of the nose. A touch of bay leaf and slate help bring a delightful vibrancy, while vanilla and caramel round it off. That touch of bay leaf makes an appearance on the palate, along with the white pepper and hint of vanilla. The rich, dark berries burst on the tongue, all leaving a savory bite to the wine. This 100-percent cabernet sauvignon envelops your taste buds with a satiny finish and generous tannins to allow for aging.
Opolo 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon – $36
This wine has rich aromas of hickory smoke and garden herbaceousness. It offers flavors of raisin, cherry compote, and cranberry. It finishes with long velvety tannins with a plush mouthfeel and hints of chocolate and cinnamon.
Pear Valley 2016 Petite Sirah – $36
An incredible dark wine leading with aromas of boysenberry, leather, peppercorns, and black walnut. On the palate, the wine is dense with flavors of anise, bittersweet chocolate, raspberry, and espresso. This would be a great wine to lay down and age for a few years.
Sea Shell Cellars 2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – $40
This wine is 100-percent cabernet sauvignon and spent in 20 months in 40-percent new French oak. “Made from the oldest vines on the estate, this Cabernet displays some of the most developed flavors and structure that the property has to offer,” the winemaker says. It has aromas and flavors of currant fruit, leafy herbs and tobacco, and hints of chocolate. Its mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied.
Seven Angels 2016 Petite Sirah – $39
This wine has a dark garnet hue with a nose of cassis and smoked cedar. It offers flavors of dark cherry, blueberries, chocolate, and spice. Pairs well with hearty meat entrees.
Steinbeck 2014 The Crash – $55
A cab-based blend with zinfandel, merlot, petite sirah, and viognier. Each variety of grape represents a single block within the family’s 7-generation estate vineyard on the eastside of Paso Robles. It has aromas of black cherry pie, earthy spice, dried fig with faint floral notes. It has fine tannins and a long finish. It’s balanced and complex and will make a wonderful food pairing with your holiday meal.
Tobin James 2017 Notorious – $18
A full-flavored cabernet sauvignon with soft tannins and harmonious acidity. It’s a rich and robust wine with notes of black fruits, cedar, oak, and spice. Iy pairs well with beef, venison, bison, and lamb. It’s a great value in this category.
Treana 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – $30
This wine is an excellent display of Paso Robles cabernets. At first glance, this dark crimson wine sets the stage for the beautiful aromas of warm chocolate, roasted coffee & toasty cedar. On the palate, intense dark fruit, sweet vanilla combine with a smoky-oak to give a long rich mouthfeel that finishes with balanced acidity and moderate, velvety tannins.
Victor Hugo 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon – $28
An elegant cab from the Templeton Gap AVA. It has intense aromas of black cherry and plum with a hint of allspice. It pairs well with filet mignon, pork loin, and chocolate desserts.
See more wine recommendations
• Best local sparkling wines for the holidays
• Best local rosé wines for the holidays
• Best local white wines for the holidays
• Best local zinfandel wines for the holidays
• Best local Rhone-style red wines and red blends for the holidays
• Best local dessert wines for the holidays
Publisher’s note: For the seventh 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.