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Top Winery Rhone varietals with a passion

Posted on February 1, 2018 at 7:00 PM

Stanley Barrios and Elena Martinez, owner of Top winery on the westside of Paso Robles are the most down to earth people you will ever meet.  You must check them out when visiting Paso, it is a visit well worth it.  

Stanley is a Los Angeles native who came to enjoy wine  as a yong man.  He became so passionate about finding good wines that he took it to the next level and decided to start making his own.  As an intern in 2013 working under Nick Elliot of Nicora so began his journey and he has since honed in on the craft to create some of Paso Robles finest Rhone varietals.  His wife, Elena, also a Los Angeles native, runs the business aspect of having a winery.  She handles all of the marketing and customer service aspect.  

So you might be saying tell me about their wine....well here it is.

Montrachet - The French Chardonnay

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“Montrachet” The French Chardonnay

April 2009 has approached and it is spring time in the hills of the Cote D’ Beaune (pronounced coat-deh’-bone). Where is that you might ask? You might be saying to yourself ‘It looks like a French name’ and, you would be correct. The French countryside of the Burgundy region is where my travels lead me to this spring, in particular, the little town of Beaune. White chardonnay wine of the rarest and most expensive in the entire world originate here. In its often small and modest wine pressing rooms, you will find the most dedicated craftsmen, from all the world over. The secret here is small yields and impeccable winemaking.

I take you to a chardonnay wine maker by the name of Domaine Michel Niellon, he produces carefully crafted wine the that displays richness and brightness while maintaining an old world feel when tasted. As an American, I am consistently challenged to experience a chardonnay that isn’t overly buttery and over oaked. To my surprise and delight Mr. Niellon has done just this. After getting the wine home to Long Beach California and letting it sit for three long weeks, I could not restrain myself any longer. The cork popped and I decanted this wine for 45 minutes while still resting on ice!!! The 2003 displays wonderful floral notes of citrus, peach, white flowers, toasted brioche, and evenly layered notes of French oak. It begins with a bright acidity and structured tannins then finishes with a smooth yet crisp finish. What impressed me most with this wine is that after I was done with a sip my mouth felt clean and refreshed, I found myself ready to relive the entire experience over again in the next sip. This one doesn’t linger around and get old on your palate but, stays fresh and bright. This is sure to be enjoyed just sipping alone or with a variety of poultry and seafood dishes. It can hold in your cellar for 4-7 years. I purchased 3 bottles of the 2003 Chassange Montrachet “Les Chaumes” (def. “The Charm”;). I think you should too!!!!!! – 8/09

2003 Domaine Michel Niellon Chassagne Montrachet “Les Chaumees” 1st Cru - $59.95