One of the Best Bordeaux-Style Values in California
From the owners of Screaming Eagle and Jonata, The Paring, produces wines in keeping with its legendary Napa counterpart — the same proprietors responsible for Napa Valley’s most iconic $1,500/bottle Cabernet Sauvignon. Produced by Matt Dees and the winemaking team at Jonata, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has praised their efforts: “What they are accomplishing with Bordeaux varietals is mind-boggling.” What is truly mind-boggling is how good the 2013 Parin is for its wallet friendly price tag — conceivably the finest $25 Bordeaux blend on the coast? Antonio Galloni of Vinous thinks so: “This is an especially serious, structured,” and “a delicious wine for the money,” he writes. A dark purple-ruby in hue, the 2013 Paring exhibits lavish aromas of black cherry and mocha, unfolding on the palate with black olives, spices, sage, and cassis. When we offered the 2011 and 2012 Paring Reds, they went fast, and this 2013 will too. Just 125 cases.
When the owners of Jonata and The Paring (Jonata’s second label) purchased a sprawling property on the high ground of Ballard Canyon in 2000, he spared no expense in evaluating the potential for growing world-class Bordeaux varieties. He called in an “A-Team” from Pauillac to conduct soil samples. Once the report was produced, the well-heeled proprietor pushed ahead with selecting 80 of the almost 600 acres for the planting of Rhône and Bordeaux varieties.
Then, in 2004, Jonata struck gold in the form of one of the most brilliant young winemakers in the world. Matt Dees came armed with a degree in soil science from the University of Vermont and a resume that included cellar stints at Staglin in Napa and Craggy Range in New Zealand. Dees took one look at the unique potential of Jonata’s sandy soil, another look at how much the owners had already poured into their Oakville winery, and signed on the dotted line. Ballard Canyon would never be the same.