Project Paso is the newest wine brand from one of the oldest winemaking families in California, Don Sabastiani and Sons. Don Sabastiani is a fourth generation California vintner with history back to 1895 when Samuele Sabastiani immigrated to Sonoma from Italy, opening his first winery in 1904.
Thirty years ago August Sabastiani worked with Paso Robles vintner Sam Balakian, using his grapes to add depth and complexity to their California appellation wine. The new brand, “Project Paso”, pays homage to that three decade partnership. “We are excited to launch Project Paso because we’ve wanted to showcase our long term relationship with Sam Balakian, a local Paso Robles winemaker, for quite a while, Paso Robles is also the hottest appellation in California right now,” said Donny Sabastiani, President of Don Sabastiani & Sons. “Project Paso is an aromatic and savory wine, at a reasonable price that has already shown strong appeal among consumers.”
Paso Robles red soils and coastal climate gives the wines an earthy complexity and elegant freshness. For whites you will detect minerality with fresh character. Red wines have bold flavors and moderate tannins.
The Project Paso 2009 Chardonnay delivers aromas and flavors of green apple, Meyer lemon and apricot with a touch of vanilla. The sur lie aging has given this wine a great full body and richness to it and combined with the acidity and fruit results in a nice wine for only $10.
The 2009 Red Wine Blend is produced with a variety of grapes including 37% Grenache, 16% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah, 11% Mourvedre, 9% Barbera, 8% Lagrein, 3% Tempranillo and 2% Sangiovese from Paso Robles. All these grapes add a variety of aromas and flavors to the wine. From the Grenache you will enjoy the jammy red cherry flavors, from the Zinfandel, the spicy pepper comes into play, and the dark fruit from the Petite Sirah and Mourvedre, along with a certain earthiness, gives it some complexity. This is a very interesting wine for around $11. It recently was awarded a silver medal at the 2011 California State Fair.
Project Paso 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon demonstrates what is Paso is all about, with bright blackberry, blueberry, leather, earth and mushroom flavors. As you taste this wine you will enjoy the dark fruits of black cherry, plum, a touch of chocolate and even a cinnamon toast quality. It has a nice finish of cherry and cedar. This wine has a lot going for it for only around $11. This wine also won a Silver Medal at the 2011 California State Fair.
The 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel is a blend from three different vineyards in Paso Robles. The nose is rather intense with dark fruit, pepper and wildness. As you drink the wine you will savor these same dark fruit flavors and a certain amount of chocolate and cherry. It also has a nice finish and a price of only $10.
One thing you will notice about all the Project Paso wines is the Zork. Now what is a Zork? If is a closure that is more convenient than a cork but classier than a screw cap. It is easy to open yet protects the wine, delivering the aroma and tastes that the winemaker intended. It even has a bit of the romance of cork and can be reused to seal the bottle for the next day.
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