Robert Parker's WINE ADVOCATE scores for MAHA:
2019 Before Anyone Else - 96 pts
2018 Before Anyone Else - 94 pts
2017 Before Anyone Else - 95 pts
2019 Understory - 96 pts
2018 Understory - 94+ pts
2017 Understory - 95 pts
2016 Understory - 94 pts
2019 Backlit - 95 pts
2018 Backlit - 96 pts
2017 Backlit - 94 pts
2016 Backlit - 95 pts
FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE
"If you want a taste of the best that Paso Robles has to offer, the name "James Berry" on the label is a mark of quality you'll want to look for."
We have been buying grapes from James Berry Vineyard since 2002 and now are one of the few remaining wineries to be allocated this precious fruit. Food & Wine Magazine just named James Berry Vineyard one of the most important California Vineyards. Of course we have known this for 2 decades. Congrats to the Smith family!
The 17 Most Important California Vineyards All Wine Lovers Need to Know, August, 2021
"Villa Creek, found along the Peachy Canyon Road corridor, is arguably one of the finest Rhône-style wine producers in the United States. Winemaker/owner Cris Cherry consistently produces wines of beauty, balance and character at his organically farmed estate. His high-end Maha Estate wines, particularly the Bae (Before Anyone Else), made with 100 % Clairette grapes, is one of the most beautiful white wines I’ve had from California for quite some time. A rare bird, this wine continues to change and evolve in the glass for hours. At $100 a bottle, it still manages to over-perform. Serious lovers of white wines will want to seek out this unforgettable wine."
R.H. Drexel: Paso Robles: The Ideal Wine Country Getaway, August, 2021
MOOD OF LIVING
Villa Creek Winery – Organic and Biodynamic Wine, CA, August, 2021
THE SF CHRONICLE
California's droughts sometimes make better wine - but they're bad for the industry overalll. Here's why, April 2021
THE VITNER PROJECT
MAHA Wines: Bridging the Biodynamic Gap in Paso Robles, December 2020
Paso Robles: Looking at the 2018s, September 2020
DANIELL GIBSON EVENTS
Visit Paso Robles Like a Local, September 2020
Villa Creek is the cowboy chic winery of Paso Robles, July 2020
Sustainable, Organic & Biodynamic Wines Moms Will Adore, July 2020
CONDE NAST TRAVELER
7 Best Weekend Getaways in California, June 2020
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
The Coronavirus Wine Diaries, Volume 2, April 2020
Paso Robles: A Wine Country Unlike Any Other, February 2020
California's Paso Robles area offers wine-tasters variety, December 2019
USA TODAY 10 BEST
West Coast Wineries Who Are Making Amazing Sustainable Wines, November 2019
Best Thanksgiving Wines, Fall 2019
THE NEW YORK TIMES
50 Places to Go in 2020, January 2020
California's Paso Robles Area Offers Wine Tasters Variety, December 2019
THE WINE ENTHUSIAST
Wine Enthusiast Podcast: Rhône Blends Rise in Paso Robles, September 2019
The Weekender: Paso Robles, California, Summer 2019
The Grit and Grace of Paso Robles, June 2019
6 of the Best Wineries in Paso Robles, January 2019
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
The 52 Wineries You Need to Visit in 2019, January 2019
2015 Willow Creek Cuvée, #27 Wine in the World, January 2019
Big Red Wines From Paso Robles' West Side, January 2019
"Paso Robles remains the heart of the Rhône movement in California and is a magical region for Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. The top wines tend to be blends, and there’s an incredible diversity in wine styles, from ripe, powerful GSM blends to Cabernet Sauvignons that compete with the best of California, both warm- and cool-climate-like Syrahs, and Pinot-Noir like Grenache and Zinfandel releases. And while Paso Robles is a warm region, the limestone soils, as well as the cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean and Templeton Gap, help retain freshness and acidity in the wines. If you’re unfamiliar with Paso Robles, now is a great time to give these wines a try."
These wines are made by Cris (and JoAnn) Cherry and come from (their) newly planted estate high up off Peachy Canyon road, just above their Villa Creek cellar. This is a beautiful, south-facing, hillside terroir, and the wines are impressive."
2016 MAHA 1 (an early version of Backlit)
A blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Petite Sirah, and 25% Graciano, the 2016 MAHA 1 sports a deep ruby color as well as a gorgeous bouquet of blackberries, blueberries, ground pepper, violets, and blood orange. It's deep, rich, full-bodied, and ethereal, with a seamless texture. This was completely destemmed, native fermentation, and spent 50% new oak. It’s one of the gems in this lineup and is seriously good. Don’t miss it!
93-95 pts. Jeb Dunnuck
2016 MAHA 2 (an early version of Understory)
A blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, and 5% Carignan that was mostly destemmed (30% stems), the 2017 MAHA 2 is more perfumed and elegant, with a smoking bouquet of sweet cherries, hints of blueberries, dusty earth, and dried flowers. More medium-bodied, with a silky, elegant texture, it has fine tannin, beautiful balance, and a great finish.
92-94 pts Jeb Dunnuck
The Brilliant 2016s from Paso Robles, November 2018
SAN FRANCISCO CHRINICLE
Mislabeled Vines Cause Stir Among Wineries, August 2018
THE WINE ENTHUSIAST
How California's Central Coast Winemakers are Making Grenache Their Own, March 2018
"I’d confidently place this winery among the upper tier of the Central Coast. Of particular interest to Cherry these days is working with his new, estate-grown Clairette, the southern Rhône variety that’s the backbone of many of the best examples of Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc. Look for interesting things to happen here soon as his vines come further into maturity."
Paso Robles Copes, Adapts and Evolves, November 2017
"Cris Cherry has made some terrific 2015s which are certainly up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. As in the past few years, these wines see plenty of stems, yet they’re nicely integrated and balance by ample fruit."
Latest Releases from Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County, August 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES
" ...the 2013 Villa Creek Garnacha from Paso Robles made our Top 10."
In California, Grenache Packs More Than Power, September 2016
THE WINE SPECTATOR
"If Justin Baldwin and Justin Vineyards had any sense, they would have contacted the neighbors for some insight on growing and farming practices in the neighborhood before raping the land as they did," said JoAnn Cherry of Villa Creek Winery. "Clearly being a good neighbor is the least of their concerns."
Oak Tree Removal for Vines Triggers Controversy in Paso Robles Wine Country, June 2016
FOOD & WINE
“Villa Creek's proprietors, Cris and JoAnn Cherry, consistently produce lovely wines filled with character and personality.”
The Promise of Paso Robles, June 2017