Saturday, February 4, 2023

Paring California Red Bordeaux Blend 2016

The Paring California Red Bordeaux Blend 2016

This wine is from Jonata Winery in Santa Barbara County by Winemaker Matt Dees. He says this wine is made from the vineyard blocks that are "either too young or don't fit into the vintage style of the highly acclaimed JONATA and The Hilt wines from Santa Barbara County".

I seem to recall I first tasted this wine with Jared Gelband, wine director at Italian Village in Chicago, but admit I don't have it in my records. 

I wrote in more detail by Matt Dees Winemaker and Jonata Winery in a recent blogpost back in December, 2022 - Jonata Winery "Todos Everyone" Syrah.

The Paring portfolio consists of six wines, three reds, this Red Blend, a Syrah and a Pinot Noir, and two whites, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay, and one in-between, a pale pink Rosé of Pinot Noir, that is actually 100% Pinot Noir, salmon colored rosé.

When he's not working with The Paring, Matt can be found making the wines for its big sister wineries- JONATA and The Hilt. Interesting branding features a simple paring knife on the otherwise plain label.

They write about this venture, "Matt comes to wine with an untethered philosophy, a mindset embodied in The Paring. At the core of these wines one finds a wide-ranging exploration of style, vineyards and blending." 

The Paring California Red Bordeaux Blend 2016

Winemaker notes for this release: "This Cabernet-inspired blend displays classic notes of cassis, tobacco and chocolate. Focused fruit and shapely tannins shine as hallmarks of what we've come to expect from the sandy soils and slightly cooler climate of our outstanding vineyard sites." 

It is a Bordeaux blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20%, Merlot, 20%, Cabernet Franc and 10%, Petit Verdot, attributed to the California AVA. It was aged in French oak, 55% new and 45% neutral, for 22 months. Coopers include Taransaud, Sylvain, Bel Air and Dejarnac.

This was awarded 93 Points by Jeb Dunnuck,, and 90 Points by Antonio Galloni Vinous.

Jeb Dunnuck wrote in his review, "concentrated, remarkably pure, elegant Bordeaux blend that has building tannins and a great, great finish. It tastes like it costs three times the price.”

Winemaker's Notes: "Utterly fascinating nose mixing lifted black fruit, savory green herbs and dark notes of grilled bread, espresso and anise. Fills the palate with bright red fruit and black plum. A constant play between sweet and savory. Gentle and dusty tannins lead the way into an incredibly long and precise finish. Mulberry sweetness and a wonderful tension between tannic structure and bright acidity. Balanced and refined, a study in elegance."

This was Ruby colored, medium bodied, bright vibrant expressive fruits of dark berry, plum and cherry fruits with  notes of leather, spice, cassis, earth, herbs and cedar with moderate tannins on the lingering finish. This was suitable for a pizza and some artisan cheeses for casual weekend sipping.

RM 89 points.