There are a whole set of wines that are new to the Little Rock market. Eberle Winery (pronounced ebb – er- lee) is in Paso Robles in California. If your store doesn’t carry them yet, they can probably order it for you. Mr. Eberle is nicknamed “The Grandfather of Paso” because he was one of two people who helped the area establish itself as separate AVA (a geographic designation that distinguishes wine). The distributor referred to these wines as “crowd pleasers” and as far as I could tell the crowd was indeed pleased.
Today we will review the Cotes du Robles and Zinfandel. Check tomorrow for notes on the Full Boar Red, Estate Cabernet, and Muscat Canelli.
Paso Robles is known for its Zinfandel and most of the evening’s tasters enjoyed the Eberle Winery 2008 Zinfandel. Personally, my favorite part of a Zinfandel is lots of different fruit – blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, dried fruit, sour fruit, etc. This Zin didn’t have that variety – cherry was the dominant flavor. It reminded me of a Luden’s cherry cough drop or even a cherry cola. A little smokiness added some depth and the alcohol was substantial but very well integrated. This wine even found favor among a group of young women who prefer sweeter white wines and are just beginning their explorations of drier reds. Retail is mid to upper $20’s.
Eberle Winery’s 2008 Cotes du Robles makes a funny name twist on the red Cotes du Rhone blends of the Southern Rhone and copies the classic GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blend. It seemed the crowd was split about 50/50 on liking this wine. The nose and the palate were dominated by jammy fruit – cherry and blackberry. This is one of those wines that has so much fruit that it seems a little sweet even though you know it is not a sweet wine. There was no tannic structure to speak of and personally I like a little more acid. For those who like these styles of wine, I could see this being popular. I liked it better than the Hahn Estates GSM (see post) but there wasn’t enough difference in the two to justify the Eberle for ~ $22 – almost twice the price of the Hahn Estate in some stores.