Paso Robles received its designation as an AVA in 1983. Sitting on 666,618 acres in San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles is home to eleven sub-districts, including: Adelaida District, Creston District, El Pomar District, Paso Robles Estrella District, Paso Robles Geneseo District, Paso Robles Highlands District, Paso Robles Willow Creek District, San Juan Creek, San Miguel District, Santa Margarita Ranch, and Templeton Gap District. By far the largest region in San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles has over 19,000 acres under vine. The region features a mixture of silica clay and chalky lime soils. Closer to the Pacific, the western edge of Paso Robles has warm daytime temperatures, often topping 90 degrees during the peak of the growing season. The grapes are cooled by the maritime breezes coming in off the Pacific Ocean. Moving east across the region, the climate becomes more aired and drier than its western counterpart. In the east, fruit ripens more quickly than in the west, giving it bright flavors with low acidity and tannin structure. The more famous western region features a longer growing season allowing the fruit to take its time to ripen and develop a balance of acidity and tannin. Cabernet Sauvignon is the varietal that is most prevalent in the eastern regions of Paso Robles while Rhone varietals such as Viognier and Syrah dominate the west. In all, there are over 40 grape varietals grown in Paso Robles, and the region has become well known for its blends.
Our fathomless unfiltered Bordeaux-style blend was long aged, barrel fermented and hand racked for thirty-six months in French oak barrels. It is luscious, sleek and complex with floral red currant and spice box aromas that lead to layered, concentrated flavors of black cherry, mocha, white pepper, sweet cinnamon and oak that jump from the glass. Velvety-soft, round tannins linger on the mid palate, producing a rich, elegant, dry finish. Enjoy now or be rewarded if allowed to cellar for 3 years or more.
2011 Ascendance is beautiful alone and compliments medium to sharp cheddar cheeses, roasted game hens, duck, pork, grilled steaks, prime rib, filet mignon, lamb and good friends. Fill your glass with beauty and lift your spirits.
Our Ascension Cellars Viognier dessert wine is a whimsical wine that will gladden your heart with rich hints of peaches, caramelized pear, and honey combined with a delightful, hazelnut finish.
The Evangelist is the perfect finish or the start of something new. This wine pairs beautifully with cream blue and goat cheeses, light desserts with toasted pecans, Crème brûlée and sugar cookies.
This Ascension Cellars fathomless, deep violet, unfiltered Primitivo dessert wine boasts aromas of ripe fig, caramel, dried, dark black fruit, violets and cocoa. Rich flavors of red and blackberry fruit dominate the palate along with hints of cinnamon and clove, culminating in a scintillating finish.
Rapture, the perfect start to conversations or that last kiss goodnight, pairs delightfully with Crème brûlée, brownies, molten chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Varietal: Primitivo Port-Style Dessert Wine
Vineyard: Frankel Vineyards, Paso Robles, California USA
Size: 375 ML bottle
Varietals were sourced from the Santa Margarita Ranch area.
From the historical Santa Margarita Ranch Area, home to five different types of soils to produce diversity in flavor: granite, shale, volcanic, sedimentary and ancient sea beds. Always late, 2012 Cab Franc kept me around the winery until mid-December!
All native yeast, risky but well worth it! A two-week maceration released some beautiful tannins, then we barreled the finished product in brand new Cicery barrels. Aged for 24 month, no filtration or fining.
Probably one of the biggest Cab Francs you’ll try in your life, it’s the biggest I’ve made anyway! It looks like a Petite Sirah or a big Napa Cab, but by smelling it you’ll notice a much more subtle bouquet: jasmine, violet you name it. Your first sip will bring out a lot of red fruit, blackberries, and plum, your second sip will produce mocha and coffee bean flavors, and your third will produce firm, lingering tannins in the back.
100/100 Cabernet Franc
Aged for 18 months – 1/3 in brand new barrels, 1/3 in 2 to 5 year old barrels, 1/3 neutral barrels. Varietals comprise Cabernet Sauvignon from Starr Ranch, Malbec from Lockwood Valley Vineyards, dry farm Merlot from Julie’s Vineyard and Syrah from Hearthstone Vineyard.
2012 was amazing by any standard. All of this fruit came to full maturity with good color and acids, the natural hot springs underneath Julie’s Vineyard provided all the water and nutrients that the grapes needed to survive.
Nothing fancy here, minimum grape handling and destemming did the trick.
Typical Bordeaux style elegant and plummy with a twist of spice, the merlot brings a traditional velvety texture to the blend and cab the tannins.
This production was harvested by hand in the fall of 2012: 65/100 Kiler Canyon syrah was harvested in September and 35/100 Staar Ranch grenache was harvested in early October. It was then aged 24 months in new French oak barrels.
Kiler Canyon is home to some of the best syrah in the county; it shares a fence line with Terry Hoag Cellars a well-established winery and a big syrah house as well. Conditions were ideal! A mild leaf thinning had to be done in August to get full sun exposure and good ventilation against potential mildew.
The syrah was pungeon fermented; we removed the head of 2 Cadus Medium toast pungeons and introduced the freshly crush fruit. Punch down was done twice a day by hand, the 2 wines were made separately then blended together and aged for another 6 months in a brand new pungeons.
Impressive coffee bean scent when you open the bottle, follow by toasted bread and nutty aromas. The mouthfeel is soft and velvety, but the tannins are strong. Thanks to the syrah, a long acidity from the grenache makes the finish linger. A solid red with at least a 10 year aging potential.
Varietals were sourced from Hearthstone Vineyard.
Hanging time was key for this vintage; we beat the rain by one week!
Picked mid-November by hand, we brought the macro bins down to 60F to begin a cold soak, then inoculated the juice with RC212. Fermentation went well and after a long extraction, we moved the wine to new Cicery Hungarian barrels where it was aged for 18 months.
Amazing plummy nose, deep ruby color and bold tannins…2012…enough said!
100/100 Petite Sirah
Varietal: Proprietary Red Blend
Vineyard: Cass Vineyard, Paso Robles, Geneseo AVA - California USA
Blend: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, 27% Syrah and 20% Merlot
Residual Sugar: .19
100/100 marsanne clone 1083 harvested in Monterey County. The 2012 and 2013 seasons were very similar in term of weather patterns, heat/ day and rain. Monterey County is well known for maintaining acidity and freshness in the grape, especially whites.
Marsanne, the most underestimated Rhone white varietal, expresses its full potential here, with a traditional rhone yeast and a classic batonnage twice daily for six weeks. It can take as much aging in oak as a chardonnay, up to 36 months in big vats! Some of the most exclusive marsannes in the world are made this way.
This vintage reminds me of white fruit: peach, pear and especially quince which is my favorite fruit. As you taste it, a fresh zest apple comes up front, followed by a dense mouth feel with a lot of weight. Served chilled at 45F, this 2013 Marsanne can age beautifully for the next 10 years.
Colbert in San Miguel is one of the only vineyards to carry the varietal in the region. Carmenère always ripens late; mid-October to mid-November is the usual picking time. The leaves turn black in fall, which is very surprising and rare! 100% Carmenère.
Ahhh Carmenère! I never worked with it in France and always liked the Argentinian/Chilean style that was easy to achieve here, thanks to the growing conditions in 2013. The fruit came cleanly to the winery and right after crushing (less than 24 hours later) we inoculated the batch with classic Bordeaux yeast. After press we moved the wine to a Le Roi pungeon where it aged for 24 months. 76 cases produced.
This varietal has a light and delicate perfume. The density of the wine is very interesting, a lot of weight, followed by long and smooth spice. It will go perfectly with a rack of lamb with rosemary or similar, the simpler the better!
‘The lost Bordeaux varietal’ thrives well here in Paso. Thirteen year old vines at Colbert Vineyards yielded about 3 tons/acre. Hand picking and quick delivery brought the fruit to the winery in perfect condition.
A saignee was made a few hours after crushing; we then moved the precious juice into neutral french oak barrels where it aged for 8 months.
A rarity with a very jammy nose, red fruits characteristics and good acids, to our knowledge it is the only carmenere rose that you’ll find in Paso Robles.
The Monterey County grapes were picked by hand at night in late September.
The fruit came to the winery early morning in perfect condition, and after an immediate press, the juice was settled overnight. The next morning we racked the the lees and moves the fresh juice to french neutral oak barrels. Fermentation went smoothly, and Rhone yeast was used to enhance the aromatic charecteristics of the varietal. A daily “batonnage” made a big difference to increase the creaminess and glycerol level of this wine.
Well known for its aromatic characteristics, this roussanne starts with a mild quince bouquet, followed by a pleasant and crisp mid-body. This Monterey grape is more on the light and citrusy side than full bodied and oaky.
Kiler Canyon is a magical location for syrah that is known for having some of the best syrah vineyards around. The meticulous approach and high tech knowledge at the vineyard makes a big difference in the end product. The hand-picked harvest took place on a foggy morning in October and was then trucked to the winery in one-two ton bins. 100% Syrah
Syrah and pungeons make a traditional combo that never fails. We moved the juice after a two week fermentation, and our Syrah already had that inky characteristic proper to the varietal. The wine was aged 24 months in new 500-liter pungeons.
98 cases produced
Big and spicy are the two words that come to mind. Very different from the Parker style, this wine should age beautifully for at least a decade.
Like our Howell Mountain Cab, we were at the right place at the right time. Through our connections we were able to stumble across enough for two barrels of this remarkable 100% Tempranillo that speaks to what Tempranillo is all about.
Vanilla cola swirls with cinnamon and allspice to blend into a burst of cherry and gold raspberry. The faint cedar and baking chocolate balances the fruit for a well-balanced finish of acid and tannins.
Varietal(s): 100% Tempranillo
Appellation: Paso Robles
100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Starr Ranch Vineyard
After an early hand-pick in mid-October, the grape came to the winery in perfect condition. We used the tightest settings on the crusher/destemmer to extract all the tannins and color from these tiny berries, inoculated the must with D254 yeast and punched it down two to three times a day. After pressing 21 days later with a bladder press we let the wine rest overnight, then moved it to three-five year old barrels, including François et Frère, Demptos and Taransaud, where it was aged for 18 months.
An initial whiff of violets makes for a pleasant nose, followed by mild spiciness. This soft cabernet with a long finish is typical of the west side of Paso Robles.
100/100 Cabernet Sauvignon
Our 2014 Ascension Cellars Halo Viognier delivers bright floral aromas of myers lemon, bee’s wax, white peach and kiwi with a palate of citrus and acidity that gives this special wine length and suspense.
Pair this wine with light to medium body cheeses, oysters, shellfish, seafood, poultry and good friends.
Siren, our seductive Rhone blend rosé, was cold fermented in stainless steel with limited exposure to oxygen, retaining the subtle nuances of the crisp fruit and high-tone esters. The nose bursts of strawberry, Bing cherry, orange blossom and clementine mandarin oranges with a beautiful palate of citrus and watermelon accompanied by a bright minerality, acidity and sophistication that will call you back for more. Pair this wine with fresh goat or feta cheeses to medium-bodied Spanish Manchego cheeses, shellfish, salmon, duck, pheasant, goose, pork, turkey, and pasta.