Paso Robles has certainly made a name for itself with its Zinfandel, but there are few regions that can rival their Petite Sirah, either. Thanks to Clavo Cellars, Brochelle Vineyards, Brecon Estate, J. Lohr and Lone Madrone, we recently met at Jan’s home and tasted a selection of both varietals.

  • WINEormous wine tasting2010 Clavo Cellars “Desperado” Zinfandel – Jake called it “Quintessential Paso Zin. Big fruit, lingering finish.” Jan loved the nose and liked the spice and fruit and that it wasn’t overly jammy. Chris enjoyed its deep ruby color and strawberry, vanilla and spice with notes of currants. He thought it was a great value at $25. Ken raved about the nose and thought it was very smooth. It scored close to four and a half out of five stars.
  • 2012 J. Lohr “Gesture” Zinfandel – I enjoyed its deep, extracted color and complex nose. Al thought it was soft and smooth on the tongue with a great finish. Jake thought it was rich and robust with black and red fruits. At $25 it scored right around four stars.
    • 2012 Brochelle Vineyards Estate Zinfandel – Chris called this wine “big and luscious” with a nice balance of spice and notes of red currants and pepper. Ken picked up malted chocolate and thought it was “wonderful” in the mouth. It scored better than four stars and it sells for $32.
    • 2010 Clavo Cellars “Dreamer” Petite Sirah – Brian simply said “delectable. This works. I’m enjoying it.” Jake commented on its beautiful color and called it Kirsch-like. Jan called it bold and powerful. Chris got notes of bacon and hints of tobacco. At $32 it averaged nearly four stars.
    • 2012 J. Lohr “Tower Road” Petite Sirah – Jake called it “the bomb” and liked its velvet mouth-feel and inky purple fruit. The long, satisfying finish was a plus for Chris. Ken said it was deep and complex. It scored a little more than three and a half stars at a price of $35.
    • 2013 Brecon Estate Monterey Petite Sirah – I picked up black licorice and found it To be a big, deep and complex wine. Al called it “amazing” with a huge nose and monster fruit. Chris said it was fruit-forward in black and brambly fruits. Ken said it was luscious and delicious. At $48 it scored right around four and a half stars.
    • 2012 Lone Madrone Martinelli Zinfandel – From the famed Martinelli Vineyard planted in 1920, this proved to be the group’s hands down favorite of the night. Chris liked the bold nose and flavors and well-structured tannins and acidity leading to a long, lingering finish. Ken called it “so smooth and silky.” From Brian “A cloud of hornets came storming out of the glass stinging my lips and nose with the scents of summer berries. It’s a wine to take home and enjoy happy memories.” It sells for $60 and several tasters gave it a perfect five-star rating.

    We’ll be tasting again soon, including a few more Zins and Petite Sirahs from Paso. Until then, cheers!

  • Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701! Ask about special discounts.