Southern Rhone Style


California’s Halter Ranch Vineyard specializes in Rhone

varietals

by Jan Walsh      Photography by Beau Gustafson

Halter Ranch Vineyard wines

Halter Ranch Vineyard is a new California winery producing 100 percent estate- grown wines with a focus on quality and sustainability. The winery is located on the west side of Paso Robles in California’s Central Coast. Halter Ranch specializes in Southern Rhone varietals, which are among my favorites. And winemaker Kevin Sass produces both a red and a white.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape fans will enjoy Halter Ranch Vineyard Cotes De Paso 2008 ($29). This Southern Rhone Valley style blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Counoise and Cinsault is dark ruby in color with notes of sage, spice, coffee, blackberry and black currant. Pair this wine with grilled lamb, steak, rib roast, or beef stew. Drink now or cellar for up to five years.

Those who favor a white Rhone will also enjoy Côtes de Paso Blanc 2010 ($24). This wine is made of Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Picpoul Blanc. It is very light gold in color, boasts nice minerality and offers notes of white flowers, peach, lemon, lime and hazelnut. It also makes a lovely spring and summer sipper with or without food. Pair with pâté, seafood, poultry and creamy cheeses.

Halter Ranch also specializes in Bordeaux-style wines, which will be reviewed in next month’s column.

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