Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Sculpterra Winery

There is a long list of winery tasting rooms in Paso Robles which are fun to visit, but there's one you really have to see.  Sculpterra Winery pours some good wine, but they also show off some dandy visual arts to go with it.

Sculpterra's property is adorned with beautiful iron work from master blacksmith Bob Bentley and the tasting room features contemporary art by Aleah Koury.  The grounds around the tasting room are a real treat, with sculptures in bronze and granite by John Jagger.

Sculpterra WineryPictures don't really do justice, so plan a visit to Sculpterra for your next trip to Paso Robles.  You'll be glad you did.  Just don't get so mesmerized outside that you forget to go inside to taste the wine.

The Frankel family started out growing pistachios and a few grapes.  The grapes won, as they now dominate their 260 acre estate vineyard.  They're still nuts about their pistachios, though.  Have some from the tasting bar.

Paul Frankel, winemaker Sculpterra WineryYoung winemaker Paul Frankel is a 2009 grad of Cal Poly SLO.  He has already shown his stuff in the winemaking game, sculpting some very nice wines to rival the sculptures outside the doors.

Sculpterra's 2010 Chardonnay is a steely white, while the 2009 Viognier has a big, floral nose with flavors of pears and honey.

The 2007 Merlot shows beautiful, smokey, red fruit, while their '07 Zinfandel is actually Primitivo.  Great spices abound in the '07 Syrah from O'Neal Vineyard.

Sculpterra WineryThe Sculpterra Cabs are wonderful.  The '07 has a zin-like nose and evidence of the American and Hungarian oak.  The '05 Cabernet Sauvigon - a library wine - is silky smooth with gentle tannins and a pencil point edge.  The '06 Cab is much fruitier than the '05, and gives some nice minty, herbal notes.

The 2007 Figurine is Paul's initial stab at winemaking, and he really nailed it.  Equal parts Cab and Zin with a bit of Merlot, this wine lets the different varieties really shine.  The '07 Maquette shows a lot of graphite.  It's 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 12% Petite Sirah.

They also poured the dense '08 Petite Sirah and a non-vintage Zinfandel dessert wine.  The late-harvest Zin is a Port-style wine with brilliant flavors that cry out for some blue cheese.

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