Broadside Wines – Pure Wines from Paso Robles

I recently had the chance to join in on a live Brandlive tasting with Stephanie & Brian Terrizzi, founders of Paso Robles winery Broadside.  Broadside focuses on producing wines that offer true varietal expression, which means they make the wines naturally, use no new oak, and focus on sustainable farming techniques.  Stephanie is a leading bio-dynamic/organic viticulturist in Paso who oversees the vineyard operations at Broadside while Brian is the winemaker.

Broadside produced its first vintage in 2006 and has since grown to making 20,000 cases annually.  Our tasting lineup included 2014 Broadside ‘Wild Ferment’ Chardonnay, 2013 Broadside Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Broadside Margarita Vineyard Merlot, and 2013 Broadside Margarita Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.  The overwhelming consensus of the evening was that the wines are bright & balanced and the QPR is exceptional (all wines retail for $25 or less).  Here are my tasting notes from the event:

Our Broadside lineup!
Our Broadside lineup!

2014 Broadside ‘Wild Ferment’ Chardonnay (SRP $20)

Broadside’s “Wild Ferment” Chardonnay offers pure notes of pineapple, pear, and spice along with hints of minerality.  With excellent texture and mouthfeel, it was universally well-received by everyone joining in on the tasting. (13.5% alcohol)

2013 Broadside Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $18)

Tastes of plum and blackberry are coupled with hints of black pepper and tobacco.  Simple yet balanced and very enjoyable for under $20.  Definitely allow this wine a few hours to open up before sipping.  (13.9% alcohol)

2013 Broadside Margarita Vineyard Merlot (SRP $22)

Broadside’s Margarita Vineyard Merlot has lush tastes of dark chocolate, rich fruit, cedar, and minerals.  Definitely fruit forward yet with enough finesse to make it incredibly enjoyable.  This is undoubtedly the best Merlot I have had from Paso Robles! (14.2 % alcohol)

2013 Broadside Margarita Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $25)

Well-structured with notes of black cherry, ripe plum, black currant, and black pepper.  This wine is smooth, bright, and could easily stand up against many competitors at $50+ a bottle.  Give this bottle a couple of years in the cellar for an even more enjoyable experience! (14.4% alcohol)

*media samples

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Best Red Wines For Thanksgiving!

Stressed out about which red wines to sip with your Thanksgiving feast?  Wondering what wines go best with turkey and stuffing?  Great news…you don’t have to worry because we did all of the hard work for you!  Here are some of our favorite red wine picks & pairings for your Thanksgiving meal!

Happy Thanksgiving!

California Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a classic Thanksgiving wine pairing and it is also one of my favorites.  There are plenty of great Burgundies around but lately I have been impressed with cool-climate Pinot Noir coming out of California.  A lot of the bottles would be nearly impossible to acquire in time for Thanksgiving (think mailing lists, limited allocations, etc.), but lucky for all of us, Small Vines 2013 Estate Cuvee Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is available for purchase on their website.  The wine is bright, well-structured, and perfect with turkey and all of the fixings.  A fantastic wine for your Thanksgiving table! ($55 including shipping)

Gamay

Gamay is often overlooked for Thanksgiving but I love it paired with turkey and stuffing!  Since I am obsessed with Le Telquel Gamay, it is an obvious choice for the holiday.  Le Telquel is from the Loire Valley and has tastes of juicy red berries and spice entwined with racy acidity.  Pure, unadulterated, and best served slightly chilled.  This is my all-time favorite Gamay for under $20 and a great Thanksgiving wine! ($16)

Carignan

A bottle of Carignan will undoubtably make it to my Thanksgiving table this year.  Lioco Indica Carignan from Mendocino County is a definite crowd-pleasing pick.  The wine has harmonious tastes of raspberry, cranberry, spice, and herbs with bright acidity.  A fantastic pairing with most traditional Thanksgiving fare, including turkey! ($22)

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White Wines For Thanksgiving!

It seems like so many people I know serve the same wines with Thanksgiving every year.  When I dine with friends or see pictures from Thanksgiving tables, Chardonnay seems to be the overwhelming white wine choice.  While I do enjoy a well-made Chardonnay, most people opt for a bottle that overwhelms the meal with oak, butter, and alcohol.  I recently tasted through almost a dozen white wines (tough job, I know) and came up with a few favorites for your Thanksgiving meal!

Narrowing down the choices…so many great white wines to choose from for Thanksgiving!

Riesling

Riesling is one of the most food-friendly wines and is a great pairing with many Thanksgiving dishes.  I recently tasted 2013 Famille Hugel Riesling and discovered it’s not only delicious, but it’s also a killer value at $12.  This dry Riesling from the Alsace region of France is filled with tastes of lemon and orange blossom along with naturally bright acidity and hints of minerality.  Pair with everything from yams to mashed potatoes to turkey & stuffing! ($12)

Chenin Blanc

One tradition we keep at our Thanksgiving table is making sure there is a place for seafood.  Oysters and Dungeness Crab always seem to work their way into our meal.  Dry Chenin Blanc is one of my favorite pairings with shellfish.  Chenin Blanc is made in many styles so look for a bottle that has nice acid and texture.  One bottle that recently grabbed my attention is 2014 Lo-Fi Chenin Blanc from the Jurassic Park vineyard in Santa Barbara County.  With bright citrus, stone fruit, and a rich mouthfeel, this wine is a great match for shellfish! ($26)

White Rhone Blends

If you come to our house for Thanksgiving, you will always find a White Rhone Blend poured with your meal.  One of my favorite domestic bottles is 2013 Two Shepherds Pastoral Blanc, a blend of 50% Roussanne, 25% Marsanne, 13% Viognier, 6% Grenache Blanc, and 6% Grenache Gris from the Russian River Valley.  The wine is beautifully balanced and bright with incredible texture.  It will really brighten up heavy dishes and is a staple at our Thanksgiving table. ($30)

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Domaine La Manarine Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2013

I drink a lot of Grenache yet it is often hard to find a well-made, reasonably priced bottle.  That is why I was pretty impressed when I stumbled across a bottle of Domaine La Manarine Cotes du Rhone.   Domaine La Manarine is a small, family-owned winery established in 2001.  The grapes for this Cotes du Rhone Rouge hail from Southern Rhone and the vines average around 35 years in age.  This naturally made wine is 100% Grenache and I have actually seen several bottles in retail shops across Southern California.

Domaine La Manarine Cotes du Rhone Rouge
Domaine La Manarine Cotes du Rhone Rouge

Domaine La Manarine Cotes du Rhone Rouge immediately grabs your palate’s attention with lots of spice.  As the wine opens up, notes of red and dark berries begin to appear and the palate smooths out.  The result is a rich and robust wine, balanced with healthy acidity.  Not super complex but definitely enjoyable.  Think grilled meats with this Grenache! (14% alcohol, $13)

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