CHRONIC CELLARS abides by the casual lifestyle of Paso Robles and the laid-back brothers who grew up in the family wine business at Peachy Canyon Winery. Josh Beckett and brother Jake wanted to make their own statement in the California wine world and they did it with wild names, off-the-charts blends and labels that white tablecloth restaurants might want to avoid. But if you want a glass of wine after dirt-bike racing, wall-climbing or surfboarding — these babies are just for you. They are fun. They are well-made. The name “Chronic Cellars” comes from the brothers’ use of the phrase “The Chronic” to describe something they like. The labels are by boyhood friend Joe Kalionzes. Most of their wines are red blends — what Paso Country does so well.
Chronic Cellars Sofa King Bueno Paso Robles, California 2015, $22: I’ve always loved this wine. It’s like a fruit salad of strawberry, raspberry and dark plum kissed with wild herbs. Good balance. Not overpowering. Inviting. It’s a blend of 53 percent Syrah and 25 percent Grenache with Petite Sirah, Mourvèdre and Tannat.
Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise Paso Robles 2015, $14.99: This scary, spicy blend is mostly Zinfandel and Petite Sirah — and that combination will certainly make your teeth and lips a purple paradise. It’s filled out with Grenache and Syrah, which means you can’t get much more purple than this. For all that purple power it’s approachable with aromas of dark cherry, roasted almond and cinnamon. The palate is a blast of berries and dark chocolate with a touch of leather.
Chronic Cellars Suite Petite Paso Robles 2015, $14.99: See the blonde relaxing with the wine? That’s me. (I wish.) But seriously, if you like purple wine, this one runs a close second to Chronic’s Purple Paradise. Suite Petite is a blend of 86 percent Petite Sirah and 14 percent Syrah. It’s a sassy wine with bold aromas of cedar and sweet cherry. In the mouth, the profile moves to blackberry, blueberry and a kiss of caramel.
Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Paso Robles 2015, $26: The name for this one comes from the walnut and almond trees that were sacrificed to grow grape vines. This spicy, nicely tempered dry red is a blend of 81 percent Zinfandel with Tempranillo and Petite Sirah. The white pepper spice of the Tempranillo complements the cherry and spice of the Zinfandel, and the inky color and tannins of Petite Sirah make every blend like this a little better.
You can reach Sandra Silfven at firstname.lastname@example.org.