The drive to Paso started very early. The drive was uneventful and we arrived at Cass Winery in Paso Roble at 1:30 or so. To get to the winery you take Union road off of 46 West right by Tobin James, follow Union to Geneovese and turn right on Linne. The winery is ahead on your right. Although there was patio seating outside, we opted to go in as it was a little cold. The tasting bar is n the left as you go in and the cafe is to the right. Lindsay told us to have a seat anywhere we liked and she would be right with us. With the cafe, you can choose a glass of wine or a tasting free with lunch. We opted for the tasting and a cheese pairing platter, plus I had the soup of the day which was an incredible deconstructed french onion soup with a veal broth (that was incredibly balanced) andouille sausage and of course onions. Michael chose the pit roasted pulled pork tri tip sandwich.. Lindsay started us off with a 2010 Sparkling Grenache done in the Champagnoise style that is a Paso Roble Blanc de Noir. 12.5 % Alcohol. $55.00 225 cases. Yeasty on the nose with bright tart green apple on the palate it was a refreshing start. It is harvested early to keep the crisp acidity. Cool weather made this especially good. Michael who typically does not like sparkling wines, enjoyed this. Jacob Lovejoy the chef brought the cheese platter and came out to describe each of the incredible cheeses that they had paired with their wine tastings. We tasted the Midnight Moon from the Netherlands which is a pasteurized goat milk cheese done in a Gouda style. This paired with the2010 Rockin’ One Blanc which is a White Rhone blend of Viognier (52%) Rousanne (20%) Marsanne (28%). Alcohol 13.6% $32.00 Golden in color, you could smell the oak on the nose (18 months I think in neutral oak?) You get white peach and candied lemon on the palate. The cheese is aged 24 months and has a great brown butter flavor with a bit of nuttiness. Really good with the wine.
Next we tried the Western sage cheese. The sage is beautiful in this cheese with the2010 Oasis Rose. The Rose is a Syrah based Rose with a little Grenache, a little Cab and some other stuff kitchen sink style. It is not a Rhone style grenache, probably due to the cab addition. You get warm strawberries and guava on the nose. On the palate it is crisp clean and refreshing cool strawberries and watermelon. 15.8 Alcohol. 225 cases $22.00 It was beautiful with the cheese.
Next was a central coast Holey Cow cows milk cheese. Soft chewy nutty in a swiss cheese style. This paired with the 2009 Grenache. 14.5% Alcohol and 18 months in french oak. $28.00 620 cases.This was a clear and clean wine with a nose of ripe cherries and strawberries. This would pair well with turkey or duck.
Onto the cheese that Lindsay made! This was a truffled goat cheese and it was paired with the 2009 Mouvedre. 15.3 Alcohol. 18 months in french oak$36.00. The cheese is a creamy spread that we put on crackers. Later I added a little of Jacobs fig compote and it paired well also. The Mouvedre was 2009. It is a light red, soft round and gentle. Strawberries on the nose and palate. Light mouth feel.
Next was a cheddar aged 5 years from Hooks cheese company in Wisconsin. Jacob loves this and calls it velveeta on crack. This paired with the Rockin’ One red blend. This is a Rhone Style blend with 50% Syrah plush Grenache, & Mouvedre, petite Sirah . 15% alcohol and 18 month in the barrel. The wine was dark red and peppery. Michael found it hot when he paired it with his pulled pork.
Now to the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (700 cases produced) this is a typical cab blend with 75% cab, some merlot, cab franc, petit verdot. Aged 22 months in 75% new french oak. 14.2 alcohol. This is a big wine with a short finish and a clean aftertaste. You could smell the tannins but they were not assaultive on the palate like the Petroni wines it left you ready for the next bite. Great food wine. This paired with the Paive Vecchio cheese. This is a cows milk cheese aged 12 months. It has a texture between cheddar and parm. Paired beautifully with the cab. Roasted red pepper on the nose, deep red color, nice spice.
Last we tasted a syrah port 2009 1350 5 mil bottles produced paired with a 72% cacao chocolate. Very nice.
Listened to Jacob working with the catering manager to plan a burger bar for a wedding. He gets exceptionally excited about this stuff. He mentioned that he had been to Wild Horse the other day and really liked the 3rd Pinot down, so we went looking for that.
More to Come.