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Wine of the week: Robert Hall Rose de Robles 2013

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robert hall rose de roblesOne of the best winemakers too many people have not heard of is Robert Hall’s Don Brady. The Wine Curmudgeon has waxed poetic about his work many times, that Brady is able to make interesting, terroir-driven, value-worthy wines in California’s Paso Robles when so many others there go for scores, an excess of fruit, sticker shock, and too much alcohol.

The current version of the rose ($11, purchased, 13%) is a case in point. It’s a blend, including grenache and cinsault, and has a little more strawberry fruit this year than last, so it isn’t as lean or as mouthwatering as in previous vintages. But that’s not a bad thing, for it reflects Paso Robles, which is warmer and produces richer, fruitier wines. And this is a rich, comforting rose that is still low in alcohol. How many others can make that claim?

Highly recommended, not just for summer porch sipping, but as a food wine — hamburgers, smoked chicken, and pulled pork (for the au courant among the blog’s visitors).

Winecast 20: Don Brady, Robert Hall Winery

don-bradyDon Brady, the winemaker at Paso Robles’ Robert Hall Winery, is something of a legend in Texas. He worked for three of the state’s best-known producers before going to California, where he has become one of the best winemakers there.

Brady is also, for some reason, not as well known as he should be. His wines not only offer value – the $10 rose, the $15 sauvignon blanc, and the $15 Rhone de Robles red blend are revelations in a world of over-priced, cute label plonk – but they reflect the terroir of his part of Paso Robles without concern for scores or ratings.  Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay: I once voted to give his 14 1/2 percent, oaked viogner a gold medal, and regular visitors know how I feel about high alcohol, over-oaked wine.

We talked about Don’s start in Texas, his approach to winemaking, and how he manages to make such wonderful wines. Click here to download or stream the podcast, which is about 19 minutes long and takes up 18 1/2 megabytes. One caveat: Skype didn’t cooperate the way it usually does, and there is a hum in certain parts of the recording.

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