Paso’s Peachy Canyon closes in on 30 years

Since 1988, Peachy Canyon has been producing distinct wines from Paso Robles. As with many wineries that have been in Paso that long, Zinfandel stands at the core of what they do. Over the years, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhone varieties, and in a couple of cases, fine Pinot Noir have popped up and made a stand in Paso. However, Zinfandel remains the grape that many people think of and drink when they pop the cork on a bottle of Paso wine for the very first time.

That’s a good thing, too, because Paso Robles has a ton of producers growing and bottling distinct examples of Zinfandel. Some are single vineyard efforts, others Paso wide cuvees, and still more focus on a sub appellation. Peachy Canyon has their fair share of Zinfandels in a wide portfolio. Here’s a look at some current Zinfandel releases, as well as a couple of other fine wines from Peachy Canyon.

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Peachy Canyon 2014 Incredible Red ($14)

This is mostly Zinfandel (98%) with a splash of Petite Sirah (2%) blended in. If you’re looking for that everyday house red that provides lots of hedonistic drinking pleasure for a reasonable price, here’s a more than solid option. Black fruit aromas and Mexican vanilla bean are evident on the nose. The palate is full flavored, juicy and loaded with red and black fruit flavors. Boysenberry, bits of brown sugar and more are evident on the above average and somewhat lusty finish.

Peachy Canyon 2012 Cirque du Vin ($19)

This blend is comprised of Syrah (60%), Petite Sirah (28%), Zinfandel (5%), Merlot (3%), Malbec (2%) and Tannat (2%). Violet and plum aromas lead the nose. The palate is filled with bits of savory herb, dried cherry, raspberry and more. A touch of bacon fat leads the finish along with bits of toast and continued fruit flavors. This seamless blend will satisfy a crowd with varied tastes. The under-$20 price point makes it a no-brainer purchase.

Peachy Canyon 2014 Westide Zinfandel ($22)

The moment you stick your nose in the glass, you’ll be reminded of a bowl of fresh, ripe fruit waiting to be consumed. A copious helping of spices are present as well. The palate is loaded with eager fruit flavors such as plum and blackberry. A generous dusting of cocoa, allspice, nutmeg and black raspberry are all present on the finish. This is a fine and really well-priced example of Paso Zinfandel.

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Peachy Canyon 2014 Petite Sirah ($32)

Petite Sirah happens to be one of my favorite grape varieties for a number of reasons. I love the dark brooding fruit they often feature, and I think the best made examples often age remarkably well and provide remarkable drinking pleasure for a somewhat nominal price. I can happily say that Peachy Canyon’s Petite checks all of those boxes. Dark, almost ominous fruit aromas emerge from the nose along with interspersed bits of red fruit. The palate is loaded with blackberry, plum, black raspberry and dark chocolate notes. Continued dark fruit, chicory, nutmeg and bits of mineral appear on the impressive finish. Firm, gripping tannins and racy acid keep things balanced and lend to the excellent age-worthiness of this wine. This is a beautiful Petite Sirah which drinks well now but will improve over the next decade.

Peachy Canyon 2014 Vortex Zinfandel ($38)

This is one of the smaller production Zinfandels in the Peachy Canyon portfolio. The fruit was sourced at some of their favorite vineyards. It was picked by hand, sorted twice and de-stemmed to maximize quality. Black plum, raspberry and hints of toasty oak appear on the nose. The palate is deeply layered with dark fruits, spices and bits of minerals. The finish is long, complex and impressive. Black tea, earth and continued dark fruit flavors are all evident. This is a Zinfandel that will benefit from additional bottle age. It’s delicious now but will evolve nicely over the next 3-5 years.
The bottom line is that you should consider Peachy Canyon for your Zinfandel needs, but keep in mind that they nail some other varieties too. They have kept prices very reasonable over the years, assuring you can look to them for everyday values and more.

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