2018 Tobin James “Rock-n-Roll” Syrah and Quick Dinner Adjustment
The Winery – A Brief Background
(photo from Tobin James Winery)
Tobin James (Toby) got his start with someone giving him six tons of Zinfandel grapes. At the time he was an assistant winemaker and he took this opportunity to make his own wine. Eighteen months later he produced his 1985 Blue Moon Zinfandel which won double Gold Medals and was listed on The Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 Wines of the Year”!! That was the unprecedented start of Tobin James Cellars. Then in 1993, Toby built Tobin James Cellars. Lance and Claire Silver joined as partners in 1996.
The winery is located eight miles east of Paso Robles on Highway 46. The property encompasses 71 acres of vineyards. Having had the old “10 mile Stagecoach Stop” on site, they went with the old-fashion western style tasting room showcasing the rugged history of Paso Robles. Today Tobin James Cellars has a tremendous following which accounts for them having the largest wine club in California of over 30,000.
The Wine – 2018 “Rock-N- Roll” Syrah
(Photo ©Michael Kelly)
Pulled this recently purchased wine from the cellar last evening as I had tasted it only twice before. I again was amazed by the wine. The wine on the eyes was deep crimson, almost black in color with medium heavy viscosity. On the nose some amazing aromas of pepper and jammy fruit. On the palate it is robust where the dark fruits of blackberry and plum light up the mouth. Some Christmas spices of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg are secondary flavors that appear on the finish. Also on the finish a smokiness of a campfire barbeque come across. This is a big wine coming in at 15.2% alcohol. Tobin James suggests it is an age worthy Syrah, and it appears even at four – five years of age, to be still in its youth. The wine sells for $22/bottle and provides a lot of punch for the money. They also suggest their Syrah called “Blue Moon Reserve” and “James Gang” might also be of interest.
The Food & Wine Pairing
(Photo ©Michael Kelly)
Last night, having for the first time a teriyaki marinated flank steak picked up at meat market nearby, it called for either a Syrah, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Went with the Tobin James “Rock-n-Roll” Syrah as I remembered it had a sukoshi of sweetness on the finish. When tasting the beef, which was excellent but, the teriyaki sauce was a bit bland. Then added some Bachan’s Japanese Hot & Spicy Barbecue sauce and it came alive with flavors (not shown). The sauce contains red Jalapeno puree of Jalapeno peppers, salt and vinegar, along with ginger, green onion, sea salt and toasted sesame oil. The heat and spiciness of the meat now was surrounded by the embracing Syrah for a beautiful pairing. Accompanying the meal was fresh asparagus and a fresh garden salad. Decided to use a Japanese dressing from Red Shell called Japanese Miso Dressing to complete the Japanese themed dinner that happened on the fly (not shown).
I look forward to trying Tobin James “Blue Moon Reserve” and “James Gang” Syrah sometime soon.