(PASO ROBLES, Calif.) -- Just as Doug Beckett at Peachy Canyon Winery wrapped up his 2016 harvest he received word his Zinfandel Port had been awarded 96 points from Tastings.com in Chicago: “It was a fitting way to celebrate the wonderful vintage,” said Doug, “and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing these kinds of scores for many of our 2016 wines...it was a flawless harvest.”
Founded in 1988, Peachy Canyon is one of Paso Robles’ pioneering wineries, building a name for great local Zinfandels from single vineyards on Paso’s western hills. The Peachy Canyon Port is a fortified wine blended from Paso Robles’ Zinfandel, built up over the course of 13 different vintages using a barrel-to-barrel non-vintage method. Beckett says he believes the port qualifies as an aged, 13-year-old wine because of different vintages used in the blend and the amount of time the wine has spent maturing in oak barrels.
Peachy Canyon’s Winemaker, Robert Henson, describes the production process for the Peachy Canyon Port as unique, a mix of traditional, fortified dessert winemaking and the Spanish solera method: “We begin in the vineyard. We pick ripe, like a late harvest; then, midway through fermentation, we arrest the wine by fortifying it with higher-proof alcohol made from wine grapes. After that, the wine is aged in oak barrels, and each vintage is blended with the one before.”
“What makes this wine special is the combination of tawny character with a little bit of ruby splash—there’s an aged tawny-style nuttiness, but with the freshness and fruit of a ruby port.”
Tastings.com is the website of the Beverage Tasting Institute, an impartial group that provides ratings on wines and spirits. It was founded in 1981 by Craig Goldwyn (who has since reinvented himself as a writer and barbecue blogger called “Meathead” Goldwyn). Other current Peachy Canyon wines have received scores from 89 to 94 points from Tastings.com.
The Peachy Canyon Port is available at the winery’s tasting room on highway 46 West in Paso Robles for $32. The wine is the perfect accompaniment for a holiday dessert.