The Underrated Wines of Paso Robles CABs of Distinction Grand Tasting 2016

by | Jan 20, 2017 | Eve's Wine 101, Food & Wine

 Last October I got a peek of the new upscale Allegretto Vineyard Resort when I attended the Paso Robles CAB Collective fourth annual CABs of Distinction Grand Tasting, which exclusively focuses on Cabernet Sauvignon and red Bordeaux varietals – at least 75 of them.  Much like Pinot Days and Rhone Rangers, these tasting are a great way to learn about a certain style of wine.  For Paso, which is larger than Napa Valley, most tasters affiliate the area with big Zinfandels and Rhônes alone.  However, it’s important to learn that Paso now has designated 11 sub-AVAs – different agricultural areas – under vine that are more than equipped to produce seductive Bordeaux varietals, as well.
Though some of my favorite winemakers, who normally pour for guests, were very busy with crush (Scott Shirley from Justin, Kevin Willenborg from Vina Robles and Kevin Sass of Halter Ranch) it was awesome to taste fine wines and chat with some winemakers who could get away (Co-Founders of Cab Collective Mike Mooney from Chateau Margene and Daniel Daou from DAOU Vineyards, Guillaume Fabre from Clos Solène, Steve Peck from J. Lohr, Ben Mayo from San Antonio and Jason Joyce from Calcareous).
There was not a single wine I wasn’t reluctant to pour out, but as I was covering the event, pouring out is a necessity.  The wines were superiorly balanced and elegant; I would strongly suggest you seek them out in your next visit to Paso Robles and from our local wine bars.
Along with some wonderful wines (see list below), we enjoyed live music and appetizers by Executive Chef Eric Olson of Cello Ristorante and Bar.  It also was interesting to meet up with winemaker Ben Mayo during our CABs of Distinction weekend, as the last time we met it was 2011, and he was the winemaker for Eberle.  Why join the LA based San Antonio winery – just celebrating their 100th year – that is already 20-labels strong?  Come to find the Riboli Family has invested in Paso Robles vineyards and is building a new tasting room dedicated to their new venture – that should be having its Grand Opening by the time this article hits print!  Tell Ben I sent you!

About the Cab
Formed in 2012, the Paso Robles CAB (Cabernet And Bordeaux) Collective (PRCC) is an independent collaborative effort of leading Paso Robles growers and producers of Cabernet and red Bordeaux varietals specific to the Paso Robles AVA in California.  The PRCC strives to promote the full potential of the Paso Robles region in producing superior quality, classic and age-worthy Cabernet and red Bordeaux varietals that compete with like varietals on a global stage to consumers and media worldwide. (
Members of the Paso Robles CAB Collective, who poured at the Grand Tasting include: ADELAIDA Cellars, Ancient Peaks Winery, Bon Niche Cellars, Brecon Estate, Calcareous Vineyard, Cass Vineyard & Winery, Chateau Margene, Clos Solène, DAOU Vineyards & Winery, Eberle Winery, Halter Ranch Vineyard, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, Opolo Vineyards, Parrish Family Vineyard, Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, RN Estate, Rotta Winery, San Antonio Winery, Sextant Wines, The Farm Winery, and Vina Robles Vineyards & Winery.  Chateau Margene and DAOU are two of the founding members; other founders include J. Lohr, ADELAIDA Cellars, Eberle Winery, and Vina Robles Vineyards & Winery.

Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via


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