Behind the Cork™ - Clayhouse Adobe Red

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2012 Clayhouse Adobe Red Blend ($14)

This was an interesting find. I love Paso Robles and the wines that are produced there. But, I wasn’t previously familiar with this one.

The Clayhouse estate Red Cedar Vineyard is located on the east side of Paso Robles within two of the sub-AVAs: San Juan Creek and Paso Robles Estrella District.

This blend is from winemaker Blake Kuhn who got his start at UC Santa Barbara with degrees in biology and environmental sciences. He later attended UC Davis to further his wine education.

Blake has done well with this Adobe Red. It’s 39% Petite Sirah, 34% Zinfandel, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, 3% Tempranillo and 2% Malbec.

It has nice black fruit flavors of cherry and blackberry with a bit of jammy flavor, some nice oak additions of vanilla and cocoa and finishes very smooth. This is a very tasty red blend at a great price. Cheers!

Behind the Cork™ - 2016 Écluse Ensemble


2016 Écluse Ensemble ($48)

This Bordeaux red blend from Écluse in Paso Robles is truly an ensemble of varietals. It’s produced from 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cab Franc, 15% Petit Verdot, 14% Merlot, 14% Malbec and 7% Carignane. A little bit of everything!

And the result is quite tasty. It has bright red fruit flavors such as cherry but also has hints of pepper, licorice and other spices.

Écluse has masterfully blended this wine to be big in flavor and smooth on the finish.

If you’re passing through Paso Robles on Highway 101, Écluse is just a couple of minutes away and well worth the stop. And, you’re likely to find the warm and friendly owner Steve Lock (Lock is Écluse in French) in the serving room.

This is a really good one! Cheers!

Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week

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2013 Elevation 1250' Paso Robles Red Wine ($7)

This Elevation 1250' is a nice blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah from Paso Robles.  And, as with all Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week features, it's a great value.

I must admit this is a unique find at Trader Joe's, and when I went on-line to learn more about the wine I came up empty handed.  It is produced by Riboli Family Wines, a large conglomerate, but even their website does not include this one in their portfolio. So, it's not a mainstream wine and probably will come and go quickly.

Regardless, this is real nice red wine blend at a great price. I'd definitely suggest giving it a try. I went back for more! Cheers!

Behind the Cork™ - Wine of the Week


2014 Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon ($13)

After starting Joseph Carr Wines in 2005, Joseph went on to launch Josh Cellars in 2007. The 'Josh' label is named for his father, Joseph, who's friends called him Josh.

This Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles is bold and rich with distinctive flavors from oak ageing.  Probably could have used some time in the decanter. But, a nice everyday wine that paired well with a steak and mushrooms.