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An Australian Vibe For The Love of California Wine

While it took Damian Grindley, a man from Wales, to bring the laid-back Australian style of comfort to Paso Robles, his Australian wife Amanda Grindley surely has a piece of the vibe present at Brecon Estates, nestled in the oaks of Paso’s west side.

Damian Grindley with a 10th of Brecon Magnum celebrating 10 years of creating wine on Paso’s West side.

They’ve been on a tear accumulating accolades for Brecon’s wine. Their 2023 Albarino earned Best in Show at the Sunset Magazine’s International Wine Competition while their 2020 Malbec earned 100 points from the Los Angeles International Wine Competition. Their 2019 Reserve Cabernet Franc earned Best of Show with 99 points last year.

Brecon specializes in small batch premium wines, creating slightly over 1,850 cases yearly of red and white blends. Even their ‘single variety’ wines have a dribble of this in the splash of that to round out the taste. A single varietal wine may be labeled ‘single varietal’ with 75% of it’s named grape. Up to 25% may be other wine varietals blended into the mix (ie: Tannat, Viognier, Syrah, Grenache & Mourvèdre are common blending grapes.)

They are very precise in their blends. Some of the wines notes registered 1.13% of a blending wine added into the formula. Most wineries dodge the double decimal points or shun numbers completely. So, while laid back, Brecon is precise with their wine creations.

So what did we taste? Here goes:

2020 Estate Meritage (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot & Malbec) $69 ✰++ (92pts)

2020 Estate Zinfandel (2 Zins blended with Tannat, Petite Sirah, Petite Verdot, Syrah & Mourvèdre) $64 ✰+

2020 Estate Malbec $68 (sold out) ✰+/✰++ (95pts)

2020 Petit Verdot (100% Petit Verdot) $74 ✰++(92pts)/✰+

2020 10th of Brecon Magnum Celebrating 10 years of wine making at the estate (2 Petit Sirahs from Dusi & Rolph Vineyards blended with Syrah & Mourvèdre) $220 ✰++ (94 pts)

We brought home Zin & Malbec. Alas, no white wines were available during our visit. Sold out. Damian indicates they’re in production and should be in stock shortly. But, they sell out quickly. If you’re a blended white admirer, get your bum here early and stock up since they’ve been cleaning up with the previously mentioned awards.

The grounds are as beautiful as their wines. Walking to the estate tasting room you stroll athwart an iron Bridge spanning a meandering creek to settle into a calm zen state. Then a rambling walkway through monumental oaks and patio lounges seals the deal. It’s a very comfortable place to visit. The owners, employees and tail-wagging pooches all exude that laid-back Australian style and warmth.

You’ll find them on Paso’s west side at 7450 Vineyard Drive in the Adelaida District of the broader Paso Robles A.V.A.

Some notes on our wine ranking system.

Bill & Erin Hodge write about California Wine, the estates & winemakers producing them and educational information about Vino. Living in California Wine Country provides a front row seat to the places you want to visit the most here in the Golden State.

– -✰  means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰  means -Not liking it too much
✰ means  -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰+ + means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+  with a slash, it means we disagree.

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