Our PDQ is anything but, as it didn't get made "pretty damn quick." In a sense, it took decades. These Rhone varietals of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and Cinsault were grown in Paso Robles. They're relative newcomers to the area.
When grapes were first planted for wine here in the '70s, the order of the day was Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They did well as long as they were planted west of the Pacific Coast Highway. Those planted on the east side got more heat, and thus problems arose. Paso Robles started to get a reputation for overly alcoholic wines and was becoming less and less popular.
Then in the '80s, along came a big-name Rhone producer who said that the best grapes to plant in the area were the Rhone varietals. These mavericks proved their point by planting these grapes and then making some of the best wine in the area. It didn't take long for the rest of the locals to follow suit, which was the impetus for a group called The Rhone Rangers.
Chris Cameron of Broken Earth Vineyards was one of the first to jump on board with these varietals and has had considerable success with them.
Individually, the grapes produce quite different wines. Grenache has a lovely sweet cherry fruit combined with spice. Syrah is the dark horse, with brooding flavors of earth and black pepper. Mourvedre is sweetener, with mouth-gushing red grape presence. Together, they make a fabulous combination, as witnessed here.
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