If you’ve been reading this blog with any regularity, Roger Nicolas’s RN Estate Winery in Paso Robles will be familiar. Dante Robere in Livermore Valley, however, is a new discovery for us. There will be a feature article about our recent visit to Livermore later this week. But tonight, as I was mulling a wine choice, I realized we had syrahs from each of these wineries. Why not a side-by-side tasting?
This is heavy competition for the newcomer. RN Estate has established a reputation for very high quality interesting wines. We were so impressed by Dante Robere that we joined their wine club on the spot. So let’s see how they stack up.
The RN Estate is a 2011 from La Vista Vineyard, most likely one of Roger’s own. Aromas of forest floor and herbs are followed by a burst of huckleberries and chocolate with subtle tannins and spice.
[pullquote]I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.[/pullquote]
To describe the finish, I will quote Crash Davis from the movie Bull Durham →
Dante Robere offered a 2012 Livermore Valley edition. The aroma features black cherries and caramel, slightly better than the RN Estate (albeit somewhat less traditional). The palate is simpler, with about three notes. The traditional syrah spice is paired with red cherries and soft tannins. The finish is less structured and shorter than the RN Estate.
On balance, RN Estate is a superior syrah. I know, these are different vintages from different terroir. Hey, we drink and taste what’s in our cellar! The real message, however, is that Dante Robere is one to watch. Right now they’re the second-best winery in the Livermore Valley. Placing them behind Steven Kent is high praise indeed.