I love small, family owned and operated wineries. I’m not sure what it is about them. Maybe it is the nostalgia of a small operation competing with bigger wine conglomerates, or maybe it is that the winemakers in these small operations are willing to talk about their wine and choices with anyone. To me that makes it easier to enjoy wine—so long as it is still high quality.
Pacific Coast Vineyards exemplifies everything I enjoy about small family wineries. The ownership and winemaker are accessible and they make high quality wine from an up-and-coming wine region of California (Paso Robles). Best of all, they almost never charge for shipping their wine. Now that I can have wine shipped to my home in Maryland, Pacific Coast has moved to the top of my list of places to order from.
The 2005 Paso Robles Syrah is excellent example of the quality that small producers can achieve. On the nose, there are aromas of dark chocolate and cherry. Thanks to a special deal, I got it for a mere $10 a bottle. This carries through to the wine with earthy and black cherry flavors. Initially, the wine also exhibits some tightness with strong tannis. The tannis, however, loosen over time and by the next day had mellowed considerably. (Rating ****)