The Rhône-inspired wines of Paso Robles are some of the most intriguing bottles coming these days from California, and those from Tablas Creek, co-owned by Château Beaucastel of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, are among the very best, though relatively pricey.
The Patelin series of country-style red and white blends with screw-tops was launched in 2011 as a response to the lagging economy to give Tablas Creek a presence in the under-$20-a-bottle range.
And the result has been value wines of great character and complexity. The bold red blend of syrah, grenache, mourvèdre and counoise bursts with ripe black-plum fruit, depth, and tartness wrapped in some well-placed rustic edges. It is the white, though, that I find the more compelling of the pair, an exotic fruit bowl of grenache blanc, viognier, roussanne and marsanne that blends honeyed melon sweetness on the nose with creamy body and a dry, minerally, spicy finish.