One of California’s Best Bordeaux-Style Value Reds
Matt Dees’ heavy-hitting “The Paring” reds are some of our best discoveries. And his 2013 The Paring Red from Santa Barbara is conceivably the finest under-$25 Bordeaux blend on the coast. Why? The Paring is the second wine from two star-studded estates: First, there’s JONATA in Ballard Canyon — the sister winery of Screaming Eagle. Then, there’s HILT Estate in the prized Sta. Rita Hills AVA which leverages iconic Bentrock and Radian Vineyards to produce some of the area’s most exciting and highest scoring wines. The winemaker behind both estates is Dees, who learned to make wine from 100-point winemaker Andy Erickson (formerly of Screaming Eagle). Of today’s 2013 The Paring Red Antonio Galloni calls it “serious, structured,” and “a delicious wine for the money.” It sure is — from a dark purple-ruby core expect lavish aromas of black cherry and mocha, unfolding on the palate with creamy black fruit compote and baking spice notes. We have 125 cases at $24.99 per bottle.
The Paring wines, produced by Matt Dees and the winemaking team at JONATA, have elicited a bevy of praise, including this comment from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “What they are accomplishing with Bordeaux varietals is mind-boggling.”
Since founding JONATA in 1999, the owners of Screaming Eagle have demonstrated the same commitment to the land in Ballard Canyon as they have in Oakville. They spared no expense in evaluating the potential for growing world-class wines, calling in an “A-Team” from France 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. When Matt Dees arrived in 2004 he 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.
A decade later, Dees and the team at JONATA have achieved greatness in more ways than one. This 2013 The Paring Red offers all this star-studded team is capable of — and then some.