Visited Paradise Wines this past Saturday for their first wine tasting since Kelly and Tina took over. They were tasting Kenneth Crawford wines which I was excited about since I haven’t tried many KC wines in the past.
2006 Rose – Larner Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley: I enjoyed this Rose just from the lovely fruit aromas it emitted, like fresh strawberries. It was served at a good temperature, just a bit cooler then room temperature and tasted of, well again, strawberries with a bit of spice which helped balance out the fruit. Crisp acidity added the mouthwatering aspect that made me crave a bit of cheese – which, of course, Paradise had for us. This Rose pairs very nicely with the slight sourness of a good cheese like parm. A good value for under $20.
2005 Pinot Noir – Babcock Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills: Color on this pinot was a little darker then expected, made me think it was going to be less varietal correct, but to my surprise, it was delicate and smooth, very balanced with some earthiness you come to expect in Pinot…I really liked this one as it didn’t scream out any single flavor, but a balanced blend of fruit, pepper and earth ending in a nice long finish and soft tannins.
2005 Grenache – Larner Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley: The Grenache was another hit for me this night. Made up of 88% Grenache and 12% Syrah…mmmmm, one of my favorite blends. Dark ruby in color with aromas of dark cherry and a bit of what I think was wood(???) jumping out of the glass. It had a nice mouth feel and tasted of smooth and fruit-filled with soft tannins and well-balanced acidity. Another great wine by KC!
2005 Syrah Four Play – Santa Barbara: This is a new release from 4 vineyards (Larner, Verna’s, Purisima Mt. and Lafond). Deep purple color with fruit and fresh cut grass dominating the nose – yes, grass (apparently this is from the exposure to the green stems which were left on the grapes). I was expecting more spice, but got grass instead. This wasn’t my favorite Syrah, a bit tight at this early stage and tasted better as it opened up. Some dark fruits up front mixed with alcohol leads me to believe this one needs to lay down for a bit. Deserves another taste in a few months.
2005 Syrah – Turner Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills: This very small production (68 cases) ”still young” syrah has a big fruit nose of blackberries and a bit “loud” on the tongue at first taste – it hasn’t yet decided what it wants to be when it grows up – kind of all over the place right now with fruit and alcohol flavors and sharper tannins on the finish. It has all the right characteristics to be a classic syrah, just needs some time in the bottle. Parker gave this a 92 in April 2007.