2008 Gioia Wines Paso Robles Zinfandel

Mission Codename: Sharing the Love

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Revisit our friends at Cass to retrieve a library vintage Cabernet Sauvignon

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Gioia Winery

Wine Subject: 2007 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

Winemaker: Teri Love


Paso Robles, in California’s Southern Central Coast region (San Luis Obisbo County) is one of California’s oldest and fastest-evolving wine growing regions. The first vines were planted in the late 1700s by the Spanish missionaries. Paso’s unique climate, perhaps influences its vine more than any other area in California. The hot, dry weather that is only minimally effected by coastal fog and wine results in grapes that are more concentrated in flavor and intensity. This climate makes Paso uniquely suited to grow the big red varietals including Zinfandel, Syrah and as in this wine, Cabernet Sauvignon.

Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet. Sonoma County Zinfandels are among our favorites, and for good reason; So many great California wines are made in this region.

Today’s selection is 100% Zinfandel with only 75 cases produced.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Bright and beautiful, the wine shows off a gorgeous strawberry Jell-o color, with perfect clarity all the way through. Spinning the wine in the glass and it glints and glistens.

Smell – A deep smell delivers a sweet rush of layered fruits with juicy raspberry, cherry, cassis and currant with more subtle follow-on aromas of pink rose petals, soft spice and the subtlest hint of black tea.

Feel – Soft and velvety-smooth with a slight roundness at the front of the palate. Then, the wine gently introduces a gentle mineral dryness.

Taste – Delicious, bright and flavor-filled. The wine leads with bright Bing cherry and raspberry, then eases in flavors of young blackberry, soft spice and a hint of poached fig.

Finish – Beautiful layers of bright flavor taper slowly, leaving behind an easy dryness and a soft sweetness that makes your mouth year for another sip.

Conclusion – Our tasting panel was deeply impressed with this wine, particularly given its relatively low price. The wine delivers a full drinking experience, with delicious flavors, great aromatics and an easy mouth feel. In the best possible ways, this wine is not as rich or hearty as we have come to expect from Paso Zinfandel – which can tend to be overwhelming. Instead, this wine is balanced and very easy to drink. In fact, we were very impressed that, even on initial opening, the high alcohol content of the wine was totally subdued. We inhaled and sipped this wine before reading the alcohol content and one of our reviewers remarked, “Wow! I expected a Paso Zin to be an alcohol bomb. This wine must have a low percentage…”. We were not just impressed, we were pleasantly shocked.

When I quizzed Teri Love on the price, she told me that the wine was ”… priced to be affordable, as the proceeds from each bottle goes to support the foundation that I started for my son.” We commend her for her loving efforts – and the thank her for crafting such a tasty wine at this price. This ultra-limited production wine is a rare gem and, unless you are looking for a massive-style Zin, we give it our heartiest recommendation.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Teri Love

WINE EDUCATION: Real-life experience – tasting wines all over the world; Jim Porter, Fresno State

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: The fruit speaks for itself.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: “In wine there is truth”, Latin proverb



AGENT RED: Greetings, Teri. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Paso Robles Zinfandel today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

TERI: Happy to be in this position.

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

TERI: Wine makes the most wonderful occasion even better.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

TERI: Jim Porter – his palate and talent are enviable.

RED: Who do you make wine for?

TERI: Myself – if I am loving the taste chances are good that others will as well

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

TERI: The 2008 Gioia Zinfandel is from fruit grown in Paso Robles. The scent is of fragrant rose petals, the taste is silky and smooth and full of moist warm figs, raspberries with a hint of vanilla.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

TERI: Try a ‘Zinhito’ Zin on ice, refreshing and cool; Fresh sushi is incredible with this Zin

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Paso Robles so special?

TERI: During the growing season daytime temperatures reach 90-100 degrees, cooling down at night to 55 degrees – this makes for deeply concentrated flavors in the finished wine.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

TERI: Gearing up for a summer full of tasting events.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

TERI: With an open mind and an empty glass

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

TERI: Enjoy and share the Gioia!

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

2 Responses to “2008 Gioia Wines Paso Robles Zinfandel”

  1. […] 2008 Gioia Wines Paso Robles Zinfandel « The Wine Spies […]

  2. […] 2008 Gioia Wines Paso Robles Zinfandel « The Wine Spies […]

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