We went wine tasting a few times last year with our friends Mike and Sandra.  On one of the tasting excursions we all bought a library release the 2001 Lions Peak Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  Mike emailed me the other day to let me know that he and Sandra opened their bottle it was drinking really well.  I wanted to be able to compare notes with him, so Jason and I opened up our bottle tonight.  Mike was right!  The fruit used to make this wine was grown in Paso Robles.  The Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from Paso tends to yield a wine that is soft on the palate but rich with chocolate and berry flavors.  I love Napa Cabernets (especially the 1999 Nickel & Nickel Rock Cairn Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon we drank about a month ago, WOW!), but quite frankly, I lack patience.    Paso Cabs cost less than their Napa cousins and best of all, they are ready to drink far sooner!  So while you’re waiting for your Napa Cabs to bottle age for eight to ten years, you can choose from great Cabs from Paso.  Case in point, at the 2008 California State Fair, the Calcareous 2005 Cabernet was named ‘Best Cabernet Sauvignon in California’.  This wasn’t an isolated Paso win, either.  Out of 1700 entries from wineries in California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Australia and New Zealand, Paso Robles won all three Best in Class awards for Cabernet.  Trust me, if you’ll be visiting the Santa Barbara area, be sure to give yourself a weekend to taste Paso Robles’ wonderful Zinfandels, Petite Sirahs, Syrahs AND Cabs!