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2009-12-11
Media Contact: Susan West
Phone: 805.226.4200
Fax: 805.226.4201
Website: http://www.jadavineyard.com

MORE GREAT WINE FROM PASO

December 11th, 2009, 7:00 am • 5 Comments • posted by PAUL HODGINS, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Every time I go wine-tasting around Paso Robles, I try to include a few newer wineries in my itinerary (or at least places we’ve somehow overlooked). This time, following the recommendation of the two lively, hairy wine sages in the tasting room at Zenaida Cellars, we traveled up Vineyard Drive to Jada Vineyard, which sold its first bottle of wine in 2005.
Don’t let the ponytails fool you. Those Zenaida dudes know what they’re talking about.
All the wines we tasted were blends — that’s Jada’s thing – and all were beautifully styled. We bought a bottle each of 2006 Mirror (53% Estate Syrah, 10% Estate Petit Verdot, 37% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; $38) and 2007 Hell’s Kitchen (54% Syrah, 25% Tannat, 21% Mourvedre; $48).

Blended wines seem to be getting more popular among California vintners, and maybe that’s a good thing. Booze on a Budget doesn’t like to see varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon continue to rise in price simply because that lucky grape has cachet. Certain labels take advantage of the trendiness, brainwashing a sizable portion of the wine-buying public in the process. (I won’t mention any names, but the offenders live mainly along Highway 29 between Yountville and St. Helena.)
At Jada, Tablas Creek and many other Paso wineries, vintners are taking their cue from Europeans and making blends in which individual varietals enhance each other. But unlike the careful father-son team at Tablas Creek, who collaborate closely with French vintners (more on them later), the Jada guys don’t seem bound by Old World traditions when it comes to blending. Rather than adhere to the rules of Rhone blends, they just do their own thing. The results are impressive.
The Mirror, for example, benefits from the deep fruit flavor and bold, juicy, grapey qualites of the Syrah. The Cab gives it structure and tannins. The Verdot imparts color and a little edge.
Jada’s wines aren’t exactly bottom end, and they’re not easy to find locally. But I think their prices compare favorably with big-name Napa cabs that, frankly, aren’t worth the sticker price anymore. If you’re looking for that one special bottle this Christmas and don’t want to go to the usual sources, Jada is worth your consideration.
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