Wine Fables & Flashbacks on a Fated Day

Big news – Wine & Soul has moved to the desert, a fitting relocation to a magical place that embodies survival, rejuvenation and adaptability to change.

Now for my ongoing quest for good wines that express place and tell a story. One of the local markets was hosting a tasting of The Fableist Wine Company and so I thought I would get out of the house of never-ending boxes and do something I love: taste and chat about wine.

Important wrinkle to this story: the winery is based in Paso Robles, a part of California wine country that has played a vital role in my journey to “self-made” wine professional. After being smitten by a wine (the start of my Cru Beaujolais thing) while on vacation in Paris, I vowed to learn more about wine. Paso Robles was the perfect place for that: friendly and unpretentious. We were “best buds” until I had to part ways after bring given a bottle of wine that was 16.5% alcohol. We had grown apart.

So while tasting the lineup, I experienced pleasant flashbacks of winding roads and sunny, warm weather that were a respite from the bone-chilling fog of my beloved first-home, San Francisco.

Enough of my story. Fableist is a collaborative project between winemakers Curt Schalchlin  of Sans Liege  & Andrew Jones of Field Recordings. (I had a pleasant memory of a past vintage of Chenin Blanc in the capable hands of the latter.) And it is all about stories; each wine is based on one of Aesop’s Fables.

Here’s the Lineup (People seem to either love or hate the artwork. What do you think of it?):

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Here’s the skinny on these bottles that retail for $20:

Fableist 2014 Chardonnay, Fable 163 – The Bee & Jupiter

on the nose apricot fruit, palate has a lush mouthfeel, touched by toasty oak – shows restraint and a nod to White Burgundy with minerality to balance it out. Well done.

Fableist 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Fable 373 -The Ant & The Cricket

Ripe blue fruits on the nose, followed by tart plums on the palate, a touch of cedar and tobacco. Decent California Cabernet Sauvignon (with the addition of Cabernet France, Merlot and Tempranillo).

Fableist 2014 Tempranillo, Fable 067 – The Two Travelers & The Axe

On the nose, brooding black fruits, much livelier on palate. Definitely fruit-driven, and bigger alcohol than I tend to like in my wines (14.5%) but it wore it well and would pair well with my Moroccan beef. prune and almond tagine.

Fableist 2015 Petit Sirah, Fable 053 -The Farmer’s Son,.

Fruit forward with not much else to back it up; alas, I found it rather one-dimensional.

The missing fable: What I hoped to have tasted (and have enjoyed in the past) is the Fableist Merlot, in which the winemakers do a laudable job with a varietalthat has been on the maligned list since that movie, which I actually loved. It is a nod to what the British would call a “proper Claret.”

I did not take anything home with me but I enjoyed reconnecting to wines from a region of my early years of taking my curiosity and hitting the road: in the quest for knowledge but above all, in the quest to enjoy a beverage that continues to enchant.

As I conclude, I cop to leaving you hanging about the “fated day” referenced in the title. Alas, I am not one to dwell on misfortunate – I am passion, determination and grit in a petite wine-loving package!

And then there is this:

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