This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.



2011 Kazoo Wine Company

2011 Ledge California Soul (Mother Hips)

2011 Ledge Catacombs





About the winery:

The Adams Ranch is in the Willow Creek region on the west side of Paso Robles and rests on a plateau with the Santa Lucia Mountains as a backdrop, with a steep drop to Vineyard Drive in the foreground.  The vineyard is almost entirely Syrah, with some Grenache and Mourvedre peppered in.  They expand every year at a snail’s pace, with 25 dry farmed acres as the ultimate goal.  The vines are own rooted and reared in the home nursery after pruning each year.  Once established, the vines are dry farmed, field-blended and co-fermented using only native yeasts and are aged in neutral oak barrels.


The winery’s site and mailing list sign up is available by clicking here.


If desired, you can order wine directly from the winery or just check out their current releases by clicking here.



Mark Adams


About the winemaker:

Mark Adams – Paso Robles musician and Winemaker

Mark is mister do-it-all, farmer, winemaker, musician, husband, father and formerly a sound effects editor for Sony.  Mark is also the assistant winemaker for the renowned Saxum Winery with his childhood pal, Justin Smith.


“Adams offers a bridge between Paso’s lavish ways and a more cerebral effort”

Jon Bonné – THE NEW CALIFORNIA WINE – A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind A Revolution in Taste



Much more information about Mark, both wine/beer and music related is available here.  I highly recommend giving a listen to some of Mark’s music available on this site.


There is an outstanding over view of Mark on the San Francisco Chronicle’s site in a story titled “Winemakers to Watch 2014: Mixing tradition and pioneering spirit by Jon Bonné.  The story is available here.


About the wines:

I received several bottles of wines to sample.  There were three different “labels”, California Soul (Mother Hips), Catacombs and Kazoo.  The first two labels included a white, a red and a rosé each.  Instead of trying to sample all seven wines at once I had to choose between sampling based on label or style.  I opted to sample the wines by style.  A couple weeks ago, I posted my write up of rosé wines.  This post will cover the Red wines.  A later post will cover the whites.


These wines may be available at your local wine store; I know my local store carries both of these wines.


Here is the line up for this tasting:

Ledge Red Line up

Ledge Red Line up




2011 Kazoo Wine Company – SRP $25

We created this label as a fun, gentle poke at pretentious wine labels. It features the Historical Paso Robles Inn (pre fire) as a French chateau, with our dogs (Sid Vicious and Lucinda Williams) as gargoyles next to a coat of arms. The wine is proudly labeled “PRODUCT OF CALIFORNIA” and features a golden Kazoo at the center of the coat of arms. We are experimenting with style here, producing first a blend of Syrah and Merlot, and followed up by a 100% Carignane, neither of which are common blends.


This wine is a blend of Merlot 50% and Syrah 50%.


The sometimes vegetal Bordeaux characteristics of the Merlot are present in the nose of this wine but are softened and lifted by the Syrah. They play really nicely together and at only 14.2% alcohol, this wine shows great weight and complexity without the flab. This was aged 20 months in new and neutral French oak.


This has 14.2% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark ruby to maroon color.  The very inviting nose has blackberries, white pepper, roasted herbs, dusty minerals, black cherries, licorice and baking spices.  This has medium body, soft to moderate ripe tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the juicy ripe berries, cherries and white pepper jump out first with a nice roasted herb element and minerals coming through later.  The finish has nice length with the fruit and roasted herbs carrying the load.  This is an easy drinking and tasty unusual blend from Paso Robles.  (90 pts)

2011 Kazoo Wine Company

2011 Kazoo Wine Company




2011 Ledge California Soul (Mother Hips) Red – SRP $25

The Mother Hips is a rock band that is known for a style of west coast music that came to be referred to as California Soul.  Upon their 20th anniversary, Ledge paid tribute to them by blending 60 cases of wine, which to our surprise sold out in a few weeks.  This was never intended to be a “lasting” label, but the brand and the wines continue to attract new fans every day.  They expanded the line to include white and rose wines in addition to the red blends.


This has 15% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


This wine is a blend of Tempranillo 45%, Zinfandel 30%, Syrah 20% and Cinsault 5%.


This was aged 18 months in new and neutral French oak.  Tempranillo performs remarkably well in Paso Robles, it reaches optimum ripeness and is extremely fruit forward compared to most Spanish Tempranillo wines.  This was blended at the same time we blended Catacombs, only this wine was never intended to contain Syrah.  The syrah added some tannin and spice that cut through the lusciousness of the Zin and gives the wine extra length and complexity.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby color.  The very nice nose has cherries, brambly berries, dusty minerals, black pepper, bittersweet chocolate and roasted herbs.  This has a full body, moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the berries, cherries and pepper grab hold first, slowly allowing some roasted herbs and minerals to slip into the picture.  The finish has nice length with spices and dark chocolate adding additional depth.  A very unusual and unique blend that works.  (90 pts)

2011 Ledge California Soul (Mother Hips)

2011 Ledge California Soul (Mother Hips)




2011 Ledge Catacombs Red – SRP $35

The concept of Ledge Catacombs is simply that it is farmed in close proximity to the family estate. The vines are sustainably farmed and offer us some insight with regard to our planting decisions at the Adams Ranch.


This wine is a blend of Grenache 40%, Syrah 30%, Mourvedre 20%, Counoise 7% and Zinfandel 3%.


This wine was aged 18 months in new and neutral French oak.  This is primarily Grenache, and weighs in at 15.5% alcohol.  This was initially drawn up as a Rhone-only blend, but test blends finally led to the inclusion of a small percentage of Zinfandel, which ties the whole room together.  This one drinks well into day three of being opened.


This has 15.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The stunning nose has black cherries, licorice, warm baking spices, blackberries, dried herbs, earthy underbrush, dried flowers and dark bittersweet chocolate.  This has a full body with solid tannins and decent acidity.  The juicy, ripe fruit and chocolate coat the palate with spices and dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with an earthy edge and spices carrying the load.  This is a touch over bearing and could use a jolt of acidity to help keep it from getting too plodding.  (88 pts)

2011 Ledge Catacombs

2011 Ledge Catacombs




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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.