Best red Rhone-style wines in Paso Robles for the holidays in 2022
– Of all the wines we are recommending in this series, the Rhone-style red wines are perhaps the best suited to holiday meals. They are often smoother and more balanced in character, which makes them fantastic for a big holiday meal or Christmas turkey dinner with all the fixings.
Paso Robles winemakers have been producing some of the best award-winning Rhone-style wines outside of France. This is our favorite category to taste, and they are all gems. So with that bias, here are our recommendations for Paso Robles red Rhone-style wines.
Top local Rhone-style red wine recommendations
Austin Hope 2020 Grenache — $ 55
This powerful wine possesses an enticing elegance. It offers fruit flavors of cherries, raspberries, and dried blueberries. On the palate, you’ll taste flavors of dark fruit flavors and intense savory spices that evolve with cardamom, black pepper, and a touch of cinnamon. The wine finishes, fully coating your pallet with refined velvety tannins that linger.
Barton Family Wines 2020 Mr. Jones Grenache — $65
This wine has beautiful bright fruit with notes of ripe red raspberry, freshly gathered wild blueberry, and cranberry juice. It’s interwoven with hints of grapefruit rind, rhubarb, cherry, and wild mushrooms. Compelling aromas of redwood forest, hyacinth, and Italian herbs finish with notes reminiscent of homemade horchata and dulce de leche.
Brecon Estate 2020 Mourvedre — $66
This wine has a high proportion of hilltop fruit overlain with a framework of complex smoky and earthy notes with Brecon’s signature naturally sweet forest fruit character that is smooth and velvety but with excellent length. This wine earned a gold medal from the 2022 Boston Wine Competition and 93 points from James Suckling.
Broken Earth Winery 2019 Grenache — $30
This limited-release red wine has aromas of maraschino cherries and a tannic mouthfeel with notes of chocolate, cherries, leather, and tobacco, this wine pairs with rich red meats, like ribeye, prime rib, and roast beef. It’s a great value in this category.
Cordant Winery 2020 Wills Hills Grenache — $62
This vineyard-designate grenache stands out with its scarlet red coloring fading into a purple tinge. Hinting floral notes of violet and lavender give way to caramel candy in the glass. It delivers flavors of watermelon and cherry, green apple, cardamom, and white pepper emerge. The mouthfeel finishes with a flood of red berries, without being sweet.
Cypher 2017 Fifth Element — $55
A Rhone-style blend leading with mourvedre. The nose has aromatics of blackberry, dark cherry, anise, leather, and black pepper, followed by blueberry, tobacco, and spice with a long cocoa vanilla finish. It was a gold award winner at the 2022 Orange County Fair Wine Competition.
Donati Family Vineyard 2020 Reserve Syrah Geneseo District — $53
This syrah has deep aromas of dried berry, clove, smoked meats, and pepper, The palate picks up welcome savory flavors of sausage and dried meat, with root beer, nutmeg, and fig elements in the finish. It earned 91 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
Four Sisters Ranch 2019 Leakule — $36
A Rhone-style red blend of primarily grenache and syrah. The estate grenache adds notes of raspberry, blackberry, and cherry, with a hint of pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Estate syrah compliments this with its earthiness and peppery tones. It’s an assertive, bold wine that offers a rich and full-bodied palate experience. Only 46 cases were produced.
Halter Ranch 2019 CDP — $50
This is a blend of 60% grenache, 22% syrah, 10% tannat, and 8% mourvedre. It features aromas of raspberry, wild strawberry, and dark cherry showcasing bright, crisp flavors of bramble fruits, blueberry, and Asian spices. It earned 94 points from Wine Enthusiast and a double gold medal from the Central Coast Wine Competition.
Halter Ranch 2019 Syrah — $55
This wine exudes aromas of blueberry, plum, eucalyptus, and a touch of cocoa powder. The entry is rich and juicy with mouth-coating flavors of bramble fruits, pie spices, and clove. Soft, textured tannins round out the finish. It earned 92 points and a gold medal in the Sunset International Wine Competition.
Hayseed and Housdon Rhone Rodeo – Edna Valley Grenache — $44
Rhone Rodeo promises a slightly different experience from most grenache wines. Sourced from Edna Valley this cool climate grenache is surprisingly dry with pleasant acidity and flavors of cherry and cardamon. Fifty percent of profits from the sale of this wine benefit CASA of San Luis Obispo, representing children within the court system.
Jack Creek Cellars 2019 Estate Syrah — $52
This delightful wine offers aromas of dried eucalyptus and black cherry cola infused with roasted walnut and blackberry reduction. Tiers of fine tannin and supple acidity create a foundation of baked plum and crushed cacao. The finish echoes elements of espresso bean, toasted oak, and braised blueberry.
Loma Seca Vineyards 2019 Mourvedre – $52
The first sip of this medium-bodied wine reveals a bounty of red fruit, with a hint of earthy mushroom and meat lingering in the background. The tannins are mild, and the wine has a nice crisp acidity. Only 45 cases were produced.
Mitchella Vineyard and Winery 2019 Shameless Estate GSM Blend — $38
A delicious estate grown 35% grenache, 33% syrah, 32% mourvèdre blend with notes of lavender and lilac. After a few swirls and a sip, this smooth wine features bright cherry, soft raspberry, and finishes with subtle hints of anise. This wine captures the essence of a Paso Robles GSM.
Opolo 2019 Willow Creek Syrah — $60
A dense, dark hue foreshadows aromas of violet, acai berry, anise, graham cracker, and toasted oak. Bold, velvety flavors of blue and black fruits gain dimension with suggestions of smoked jerky, and baking spice with underpinnings of minerality. The finish is smooth, supple, and structured. This wine was one of our favorites.
Riverstar 2017 Petite Sirah — $32
This estate wine offers aromas and flavors of sour cherry, hints of herbs, and woody vanilla with cedar, black cherry, and floral notes. This wine pairs well with barbecued meats and dishes with cloves and cinnamon. Only 85 cases were produced.
Riverstar 2017 Eclipse — $34
This wine is a delightful blend of syrah, zinfandel, and petite sirah. It offers aromas and flavors of sweet blue fruits, plum, and violet in the body with smooth and savory vanilla. It pairs well with braised meats, Asian cuisine, and barbecue pork. It won a gold medal at the 2022 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Shale Oak Winery 2017 Grenache — $42
This 80% grenache, 20% syrah, is medium in the body and has notes of dried cherries, herbs, and woody spices. It is wonderfully textured and balanced and filled with charm. It was one of our favorites.
Shale Oak Winery 2017 Syrah — $45
A fine example of a westside Paso Robles Syrah, the aromatics consist of cola and toasted oak, while savory flavors of peppered meat and chocolatey fruits finish with mouth filling smooth tannin.
Slacker Wines 2019 Stereotype — $54
This bold wine is a blend of 55% grenache, 40% syrah, and 5% graciano. It’s a unique “GSG” from iconic Paso Robles producer of Rhône-style blends, Linne Calodo. The purple hue of the deep, dark red glistens along the edge of your glass, foreshadowing the rich, velvety body of the wine. Red currant, eucalyptus, anise, and toasted oak are all present in the intoxicating aroma. Grippy tannins are present at the front pallet and hold on through to the finish. Ready to be enjoyed immediately, complex enough to age through 2030. It was one of our favorite selections.
Summerwood 2019 Diosa — $60
This red Rhône blend entices with aromas of cherries, rose petals, cola and licorice. Notes of blackberries and cherries lead into a melding of vanilla and tobacco. This fan-favorite wine is full-bodied with soft tannins and a long, persistent finish.
Sea Shell Vineyard and Cellars 2019 Reserve Syrah – $49
This delicious syrah was hand selected for its overall richness and depth. The nose is filled with scents of smokey brisket, oaky barbeque chips, cracked pepper, and light hits of sweet blackberries. The pallet is bold and presents plenty of weight, supporting acid, lingering tannins, and savory bacon fat.
Sea Shell Vineyard and Cellars 2019 Sea Shell Collection – $29
This delightful blend of mourvèdre, grenache, and syrah has aromas of dried candied cherries, sweet red fruits with savory bacon jam, dried sage, and cracked pepper. The vibrant acidity hints of leather, fresh cherries, and a root beer float flood the pallet. It’s a perfect Paso Robles GSM and a great value.
Timshel Vineyards 2020 Grenache — $40
Earthy rhubarb with spicy cedar and clove with notes of pepper and cranberry are delivered by a light mouthfeel for this San Francisco Chronicle silver medal winner. It was one of our favorites. Check out their recently opened downtown tasting room.
Tobin James 2018 Rock-N-Roll — $22
A lush, bright, opaque syrah holding great aging potential. It is a full-bodied and meaty, complex “barbeque in a bottle.” It was aged in medium-plus oak barrels that highlight its rich blackberry, purple plum, and dried blueberry flavors leading into a spicy clove, pepper, and smokey finish. It’s a great value.
Victor Hugo Petite Syrah- $28
Aged for 20 months in French and American oak barrels, this wine is best described as steely with grippy tannins, hints of spicy black pepper, and an earthy finish. It is best matched with red meat and Cajun-style dishes that elevate its unique and spicy flavor profile. Only 343 cases were produced.
See more Paso Robles wine recommendations
- Best local sparkling wines
- Best local rosé wines
- Best local white wines
- Best local Pinot Noir
- 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 ninth 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. 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.