Chris and his wife JoAnn Cherry moved to Paso Robles in 1996 to open a restaurant, partake in the burgeoning wine scene and raise their children in the country. In 2001 they purchased their first grapes to make wine for their restaurant. And so began Villa Creek Cellars, a real expression of west Paso Robles’ Rhone grape varieties. A sort of “farm-to-table” i.e farm-to-bottle venture.
The James Berry Vineyard from Saxum fame is a little bit the Chateau Margaux of Paso Robles – Chris said: ”If you cannot make spectacular wine from this source, you should stay out of the kitchen.”
Villa Creek 2018 GSM High Road – James Berry Vineyard 96 Points
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Vinous 96 Points: “Deep, bright-rimmed ruby. Powerful, mineral-accented black/blue fruit and floral oil aromas pick up exotic spice and pipe tobacco nuances with air. Fleshy, juicy and impressively concentrated, offering ripe boysenberry, black raspberry, cherry liqueur and violet pastille flavors that tighten up steadily on the back half. Densely packed yet energetic as well, finishing with resonating florality, gently gripping tannins and superb persistence.”
Winemaker Notes: ”2018 High Road is our 16th vintage crafted with grapes from James Berry Vineyard. Justin Smith of Saxum fame grew up on the property and took the reins from his parents Pebble and Teri several years ago. This is a stunning family owned and farmed vineyard in west Paso Robles’ esteemed Willow Creek District. This wine has texture, finesse, and approachability along with weight, complexity and the ability to cellar. Deep garnet in color, it offers amazing aromatics of black and red fruits, cured meats, west Paso lupine and spice. Its palate is sexy, rich and textural with just enough verve to have you salivating for more. While enjoyable now it will deliver in spades with a few years of patience in your cellar. Drink 2021-2035.”