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Best local red Rhone-style wines for the holidays 

Click here to check out our current 2016 recommendations


Of all the wines we are recommending in this series, Rhone-style varieties are perhaps the best suited to holiday meals. They are often lighter, smooth, and well balanced in character, which makes them well-suited to a big holiday meal or Christmas turkey dinner with all the fixings. Paso Robles winemakers have recently been producing some of the best Rhone-style wines outside of France. So with that bias, I had to extend the list a bit because there are so many good Rhones to recommend.

Top Paso Robles red Rhone-style wines

Burbank Ranch 2012 Grenache– $36
This is a lighter-style Grenache that is dark pink in color and fruit-forward in flavor with hints of strawberries and raspberries.

Cass 2013 Grenache– $32
Grenache is the perfect wine for just about any holiday meal and this offering from Cass delivers in a big way. It as classic strawberry aromas, red cherry on the palate with subtle tanins and soft acidity.

Cass 2013 Rockin’ One Red – $49
This is a powerful GSM with plum and peppery notes. It has layers of classic GSM-style flavors and bright acidity. It’s a great choice for any holiday meal.2013-Grenache-web copy

Eberle 2013 Steinbeck Vineyard Syrah – $26
This is Eberle’s “Old World” style syrah. It’s earthy and spicy, combined with delightful fruit characteristics. It’s a pleasure to drink.

J Lohr 2012 Gesture GSM – $30
J Lohr bottled another hit with its popular “Gesture” line of Rhone-style wines. It’s a delicious GSM (grenache, syrah, mourvedre) blend with a heavy does of fresh-tasting grenache fruit.

Le Cuvier 2011 Petite Sirah – $52.50
This wine presents dark, ripe boysenberry flavors with hints of tobacco and earth. It’s a chewy red that will pair well with red meats.

Michael Gill Cellars Tuxedo Syrah – $65
The gold medal and best in class wine is darkly colored and almost chewy in texture. It has aromas of dark berries and cinnamon. It’s flavors are bold and concentrated fruit. It’s a good choice to pair with red meats.

Michael Rose Cellars 2013 Syrah – $34
Winemaker Michael Jones crafted a terrific full-bodied syrah with cherry and plum flavors. The fruit comes from the Estrella Creek Vineyard on the east side of San Miguel.

Penman Springs Vineyard 2011 Petite Sirah – $22
With a rich aroma of dark berries, this youthful and flavorful wine has under currents of oak, plum and spices. It’s a perfect pick to pare with a charcuterie or cheese plate as well as lamb or pork tenderloin. 3 out of 5

Robert Hall 2014 Cuvee de Robles – $20
This is a big wine for a great price. The blend includes grenache, cinsaut, syrah and petite sirah. It’s a Rhone-style blend noted for its pepper and spice. It will pair well with lamb and grilled meats.

Tablas Creek 2013 Esprit de Tablas – $55
This is Tablas Creek’s signature southern Rhone-style wine with mouvedre, syrah, grenache and counoise. It’s a delicious blend of grapes imported from the Beaucastel estate in France. This classic GSM+ will pair well with turkey and most holiday meals.

Treana Red 2013 – $45
Treana Red has been a Paso Robles favorite since 1996. Winemaker Austin Hope once again delivers a top-notch wine. It’s a blend of cabernet and syrah grapes in perfect form. It will pair well with a hearty holiday meal.

Villa San Juiliette 2013 Grenache Reserve – $32
Extended maceration unlocks chewy tannins and spicier flavors of the skins. It has depth and spice with aromas of cinnamon and clove with flavors of black cherry and blueberries. It’s worth of its “reserve” title and a value as well.

Vines on The Marycrest 2012 Grenache – $34
This delicious grenache brings juicy flavors of ripe cherry, plum and a hint of cranberry. It will pair well with holiday appetizers and spicy dishes.

Additional wine recommendations


Publisher’s note: For the second year in a row we thought it would be a great idea to recommend local wines for upcoming holiday parties and dinners. Once again, I had no idea how much participation we would receive from our local wineries. Over the last few weeks we received more than 100 entries. I was originally planning a list of 10 or so of the best wines, but after tasting and tasting and tasting, there were just too many solid, well-made wines to recommend. So we decided to break up the list of top local wines into categories. The recommended wines are in alphabetical order.

Check out our Winery Tasting Map of Paso Robles.


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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.