Best Paso Robles red wines for summer
With summer just around the corner, some wine drinkers have already swapped out their favorite reds for a chilled bottle of white or rosé, but if red wine is your thing, you don’t necessarily have to put it away just because the weather is warming up. There are plenty of red varieties that are quite delicious during the hot months.
It’s a great time to explore red wines that are lower in tannin, high in acidity, and slightly lower in alcohol, making them more refreshing. Enjoy them at barbecues, outdoor picnics, concerts in the park, or just relaxing on the patio.
While verboten to some, I’m not opposed to occasionally chilling a red in the refrigerator, or dropping in a few ice cubes… don’t judge me.
Red wine recommendations for summer
Asuncion Ridge Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir – $48
A red wine with cola, bing cherry flavors, and a boysenberry-vanilla finish with a hint of smoke.
Asuncion Ridge Vineyards 2015 Salacious – $40
A blend of 58% grenache, 25% syrah and 17% mourvedre delivers rich lingonberry, cassis flavors with a vanilla allspice and raspberry reduction finish.
Brochelle Vineyards 2017 Estate Grenache – $50
A sun-drenched, fresh and juicy wine bursting with flavors of bright strawberry, red cherry and a hint of savory black licorice. Tender rose petal and light smoky aromas make this wine perfect for pairing with grilled chicken, pork, or Korean barbecue.
Bushong Vintage Company Institutionalized – $29
This Paso Robles red blend from 50% grenache and 50% petite sirah delivers full aroma with dense flavors of cherry Jolly Rancher, white pepper and cinnamon.
Bushong Vintage Company Fire Spirit – $41
Petite sirah, a heavier red wine, with full aroma and flavors of stewed black cherry, smoke caramel and vanilla cream. Aged 16 months in French Oak followed by two months in bourbon barrels.
Circle B Vineyard & Cellars 2017 Grenache– $34
A great nose of red berries with a floral first taste followed by a balance of acidity and fruit.
Cypher Winery 2016 Fifth Element – $55
A mourvedre-leading Rhone-style blend with aromatics of blackberry, dark cherry, anise, leather, black pepper followed by blueberry, tobacco, and spice with a coca vanilla finish.
Dracaena Wines 2016 Paso Robles Reserve Cabernet Franc – $45
From Plummer Vineyards, this cabernet franc is a deep ruby color. Aromas introduce Bing cherry, eucalyptus and roasted coffee followed by fresh black cherry, blackberry, and toasted oak flavors. A long and opulent finish adds a taste of baking spices.
Hearst Ranch Winery 2016 Chileno Tempranillo – $35
This 2016 estate grown vintage has dark and rich aromatics with notes of dried cherry and wet clay. This wine was aged in predominantly neutral barrels, along with about 20% once-used French oak barrels to highlight our effort on the vine.
Hearst Ranch Winery 2016 Three Sisters Cuvee Red – $24
In the glass, the wine displays a deep and rich garnet, Plum and star anise yield to black licorice and leather as the wine blossoms on the nose. On the palate, this wine exhibits ripe pomegranate and hints of clove. Pleasingly fine tannins offer length and a delicate finish and to this well-balanced wine. The wine earned 90 points from Wine Enthusiast.
Michael Gill Cellars 2016 Counoise – $48
A delightful summer wine with a bright ruby color. Fresh fruit aromas and flavors of raspberry jam and honeyed fig. A juicy and refreshing lighter-styled red with bright flavors and acidity. Gold medal and 99 points from the 2018 California State Fair and gold medals from the 2017 Indianapolis State Wine Competition and 2017 Mid State Fair Wine Competition.
Opolo 2017 Grand Rouge – $29
A lighter-styled wine made from grapes of the Rhone valley blended into a symphony of wild red and blueberries, with hints of Lucky Charms and Surf Wax. This wine has zippy acid and tannins.
Opolo 2017 Mountain Zinfandel – $29
An icon of Paso Robles zinfandels with big strawberry jam aromas and flavors with hints of red currants, warm raspberry compote, and vanilla. It has a stout 15.9 percent alcohol. A favorite with grilled meats.
Peachy Canyon 2017 Westside Zinfandel – $26
This wine is a pale garnet color, bordering on brick with a spicy nose of bay leaves, rose petals, white pepper, coriander, and anise. Flavors of raspberry brambles and strawberry-rhubarb pie accented with hints of ripe stone fruit, red currants, and vanilla greet the palate. This is a balanced wine with light grainy tannins, nice length, and full body.
Peachy Canyon 2017 Petite Sirah – $29
A bright magenta color comes with aromas of coffee grounds, cedar, leather, tar and asphalt after a fresh rain. Flavors of blackberries, blueberries, black and cherries compete with hints of orange peel, anise, plum, red delicious apples and vanilla bean. This wine is acid driven with a lengthy, spicy finish with generous amounts of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Sculpterra 2017 Grenache – $32
A refreshing and complex wine with sparkling fruit and layered textures throughout the palate. Packed with tastes of raspberry and boysenberry fruit, along with floral notes of purple flowers, vanilla, clove, cream and Christmas spice fragrant on the nose. It’s medium-bodied and lightly tannic, with crisp acid that lingers to the finish. 93 points and Editor’s Choice by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
Tobin James Cellars 2014 James Gang Reserve Syrah – $55
A rich deep violet colored wine with the aroma of cloves, cardamom, and smoke, with a peppery finish. Will pair nicely with barbecued dishes such as chicken and ribs.
Vista Del Rey Vineyards 2017 “Bomba Ciruela” Zinfandel – $30
A robust mouthful of dry-farmed zinfandel grapes from a big, spicy wine with dark berry, plum, and cherry flavors. Drink all by itself or pair with grilled meats for your summer barbecue.
Vista Del Rey Vineyards 2018 “Toro Negro” Barbera – $30
A wine with a medium ruby color with aromas and flavors of plum, cherry, and rhubarb. Pairs well with barbecued sausage, pork, and chicken.
Sweet red dessert wines
Sculpterra Winery J. Jagger Primitivo Port – $36
Made from primitivo wine grapes left to ripen on the vine then hand sorted in the vineyard. Complex aromas of ripe fig, rich chocolate, raspberry truffle, and toasted jam with hints of caramel, apple, licorice and candied cherries followed by a tender, sweet and balanced finish.
Vista Del Rey Vineyards 2018 Barbera Dessert Wine – $25
This superb Barbera port wine has flavors of dark berries, dark chocolate, and spices with a sticky rich dessert mouthfeel.
Be sure to check out our summer recommendations for white wines and rosé wines.
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