There is so much history in American winemaking including the legendary region of Paso Robles, California, and it began with the icon Gary Eberle. Paso Robles in the 1970’s was an agricultural town, growing almonds and barley. Gary went on to purchase land in Paso Robles, and put the area on the American Viticultural Area map. It became the 6th AVA in the US.
Gary grew up in a small Pennsylvania town and through scholarships was a Penn State alum and a member of their football team. He credits coach Joe Paterno for his role in helping form him not just as a great football player, but also as a human being. Gary also credits Robert Mondavi, another mentor of his, for teaching him marketing. Gary often jokes as he was writing college papers on cellular genetics at LSU, he had this great appreciation for Bordeaux, and inevitably changed his career path. He decided he wanted to be a “Professional Alcoholic” and not a geneticist! Gary was the pioneer who planted Syrah in Paso Robles, which grew prolifically in the area. Paso has also become a well-known terroir for Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Eberle Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1979 was Gary’s first award winning vintage. The iconic boar on the label depicts the German origin of the name “small boar”. The winery grows several varietals and all are winners in our book.
Eberle Viognier A Rhone varietal that grows well in Paso Robles, and is the most accoladed white wine they produce. Winemaker Chris Eberle (no relation) picks fruit at varying degrees of ripeness to help control alcohol levels and maintain a balance between fruit and acid. Half of this wine is aged in neutral oak barrels and the other half stainless steel, then it is blended and filtered before bottling. Flavors of honeydew, tangerine, kiwi and jasmine. We give it three bones.
Eberle Zinfandel Sourced from six different districts in the Paso Robles appellation, the grapes are hand picked and sorted before aging in American oak barrels. Well structured with up front tannins and juicy flavors of blackberry, strawberry and spiced plum. Traditional hearty American Zinfandel whose elegant style sets it apart from other zins. We give it two bones. Wine Spectator gave it 92 points.
Eberle Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Aged in a mix of French and American oak this 100% Cabernet shows nuanced varietal character representing each of its Paso vineyards it is sourced from. Medium bodied with flavors of black currant, dark chocolate cherry, plum and vanilla, finishing with green peppercorn and cedar. We give it two bones.
Eberle Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Gary earned his Ph. D in Enology from UC Davis in 1971 after working on his Master’s to become a geneticist at Louisiana State University. His 1980 Cabernet was the first to bear the Paso Robles appellation he helped establish. Well balanced and elegant, aromas and palate coating flavors of black cherry, cassis, tobacco leaf and cocoa. We give this wine three bones. 2019 Vintage received 91 points from Wine Enthusiast.
Eberle Syrah Steinbeck Vineyard The first winery to produce a 100% Syrah varietal in the United States. Gary secured a planting from UC Davis, originally propagated from Chapoutier’s Rhone plantings. This single vineyard Syrahs is one of the oldest vineyards in the US, and is aged in American, Hungarian, and French oak. Blueberry, blackberry red raspberry and plum balanced with hints of white pepper and violets. We give this wine three bones, the Enthusiast gave it 93 points. Less than 1500 cases produced.
Eberle Muscat Canelli Originally grown for the winery – production has grown to just over 1500 cases and is a favorite at wine dinners to pair with cantaloupe with prosciutto or goat cheese. We get a small amount of the wine in Florida, and it’s a wonderful start to a light meal, or finish with a panna cotta or grilled peaches…aromas of jasmine blossom and mandarin zest intermingle with flavors of white peach, Myer Lemon, ginger and bursts of guava. We give it three bones.
All of these hand crafted, small p production wines from Eberle are available here at Ed’s, stop by or order on line. Cheers!
By CR Brown