Sometimes Californian Pinot Noir can be whipping boy for the ills of the wine world. After the popularity of the movie 'Sideways' it was looked at as overly pretentious, overpriced for such a subtle wine, and blamed for hundreds if not thousands of acres of Merlot getting replanted (watch the movie if you don't remember the reference). In recent years the pendulum has swung in the other direction, turning into a mischaracterized buzz word for fruity, simple wines that taste a lot more like Syrah and Zinfandel than they used to. Somewhere in between sits the truth, that Californian Pinot are distinctive and delicious and well worth the price, you just have to look a little harder to to find them. Paraiso Vineyards was among the very first to plant vines in the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey, considered one of the most important Pinot Noir regions in the state because of the fog influence and cool climate off Monterey Bay. The Pinot from here will never be mistaken for French Burgundy, nor should it, for it shows off a distinct signature that is everything good about Cali Pinot.
A deep color in the glass for Pinot, the aromas are equally deep and serious with lots of dark red and black fruits, as well as some toast and spice from the oak used. The fruit has sweetness on the nose, but the mouth is much more structured and serious, with vibrant acidity across the palate and fine dark tannins. The distinctly Pinot texture is perfectly polished, not a hard edge to be found in the bottle, but shows off mostly spice and savory notes over the juicier fruits found in the aromas, and the complexity builds for hours. Perhaps most importantly, this is a wine that does not try too hard to be profound, like the abundance of single vineyard Pinot Noirs out there. The deliciousness of the vintage definitely helps this drink well above its impressive price point.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!