One of the best Syrahs I’ve ever had from this appellation, and right up there with California’s best. Deep, dark and complex, it offers dramatic helpings of plum sauce, leather, blackberry, chocolate, coffee and oak flavors that don’t stop. The tannic structure is a wonder. Completely dry, yet with a fruity sweetness, it’s totally drinkable now and for the next…
This wine just oozes class and refinement. Shows lush flavors of blackberries, currants, dark unsweetened chocolate, leather, black licorice and something animal, like the charred edge of a grilled steak. The tannins are firm and furry, almost hard. Fine now, with decanting, and should slowly evolve over the next six years.
This Pinot achieves effortless ripeness and balance. Shows layers of cherry, black raspberry, mocha, vanilla and oak flavors, while the texture is fine as silk. Drink now through 2006.
From an increasingly well-regarded Monterey producer comes this full-throttle Syrah, young, juicy and complex. Deeply flavored with blackberries and the ripest cherries. Spicy, dry and tannic, it’s fruity enough to enjoy now with hearty foods but will gain delicacy with age.
The best Paraiso Chard I’ve ever had, this inaugural wine, a low-production block release, is tight and firm. Acidity, minerals and lees star. But there’s also a tremendous core of ripe tropical fruits, roasted hazelnut, marzipan, coconut macaroon and all sorts of interesting things. Cellar it for a while, then drink from 2007–2010.
Classic cool-climate Chard, with brisk, keen acidity framing bright, pure kiwi, Key lime pie and vanilla flavors. Shows an elegant balance that makes it a great apéritif wine, but also a natural for the table. 250 cases produced.
Paraiso’s West Terrace Pinot is one of the secrets of the appellation. The wine exemplifies Santa Lucia with big, bold cherry pie, cola, mocha and spice flavors, bright acidity, and voluptuous tannins. Despite the size, it never loses elegance and finesse.
This low-production Syrah is one of the more interesting in California. This year, it’s fairly tannic, with a fascinating interplay between the tannins, acids, oak and flavors. The tastes range from blackberries and pomegranates through coffee and cola to violets, and the finish is dry, with no residual sugar. Best now through 2010.