2013 Lonely Oak Red

For over 30 years, we’ve been partnering with well-known Paso Robles grape-grower Sam Balakian to source the grapes that we’ve used to add depth and complexity to many of our California wines. As interest in the region continued to grow, we knew the time was right to craft a Paso Robles-centric family of wines that would truly showcase this emerging region. Whenever the idea came up, we would casually refer to it as “Project Paso.” When the wines were finished, we just couldn’t imagine calling them anything else, and with that Project Paso was born.


Our 2013 Project Paso – Paso Robles Lonely Oak Red opens with aromas of gamey Syrah, followed by Bing cherry and oral notes of orange blossom and tangerine. The American oak aging adds complexity and nuances of sassafras, clove, anise and toasted dill. On the palate, this lovely red blend offers pomegranate, tobacco, Earl Grey tea and baked caramel. Mature tannins and a medium finish round out this flavorful red blend. We recommend pairing it with cumin-spiced burgers, chicken chili soup, Cajun-spiced red beans and rice, or Peking duck.


Paso Robles wine country is centrally located between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California’s Central Coast. As one of California’s fastest growing wine regions and largest geographic appellation, the territory encompasses more than 26,000 vineyard acres and more than 200 wineries. With a greater day-to-night temperature swing than most other appellations in the golden state, distinct microclimates, diverse soils and a long growing season, Paso Robles is a unique wine region blessed with optimal growing conditions for producing complex and intriguing wines.

Unlike surrounding appellations with deep, rich fertile valley soils, over 45 soil types are found in the Paso Robles AVA. These are primarily bedrock derived soils from weathered granite, older marine sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks and younger marine sedimentary rocks of the Miocene age Monterey Formation featuring calcareous shales, sandstone or mudstone. Between the combination of climate and diverse soils, wines from Paso Robles display vibrantly ripened fruit with dynamic flavor profiles.


Without major fluctuations this growing season, Paso Robles was able to harvest grapes that exhibited richness, balance and fully mature tannins. In comparison to the surrounding California wine region, Paso Robles yields were down 20% due to another year of drought. The ground had amassed salt buildup because of the lack of rain, which impacted quantity of clusters able to healthily grow on the vine. The disappointed growers chose to look on the bright side and chase quality over quantity; as a result, the fruit was concentrated in flavor and displayed a wonderfully savory quality that is showcased in our red wine portfolio.