Monday, January 21, 2013
On 4:22 PM by The Bloggers @ 67 Wine in 67Wine, California Wine, Esprit de Beaucastel, paso robles, Tablas Creek No comments
Man, it's HOT.
It’s September in Paso Robles, California, and for days the afternoon temperature has hovered around 104 degrees. The grapes will still be hanging for another few weeks.
It’s also Saturday afternoon, so that means grilling and bocce at Simon’s. We’re at the top of a hill with Syrah vines cascading down the hills around us.
The kitchen counter is filling up with Paso Robles wine. We’re all employed at wineries, and we each bring a bottle from where we work. As I work at Tablas Creek Vineyards, selling wine and giving winery and vineyard tours, my offering is a Tablas Creek red: the 2001 Esprit de Beaucastel, always made in a definite old world style. This wine is a blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache and Counoise. It is rich, ripe and full of earth, schist, herbs, smoke, pepper, and dark berry fruit. Its tannins are a bit gripping, and it has a long, beautiful finish. And as with all Paso Robles wines, it’s full of the rays of the searing sun.
The key to semi-competitive bocce is to have a glass of wine in hand for proper balance while throwing out a ball. Gradually, muscles loosen and the game gets more competitive. Many open bottles are lined up on a bench alongside the court, and they bring me the balance I need to win (though I’m not competitive).