Reviews by Jeb Dunnuck WA #226

An upcoming estate I've been raving about for a few years now, Ledge is run by Mark Adams and he pulls fruit from his Estate Adams Ranch vineyard, as well as a number of other notable sites, including James Berry, and recently, G2 vineyard. Mark likes plenty of whole cluster, and isn't afraid of a touch of funk either. His wines always show lots of character and are highly recommended.

2014 LEDGE Syrah, James Berry Vineyard.  (95 pts, Drink: 2016 – 2025)

I tasted the 2014 Syrah James Berry Vineyard just before bottling, but wasn't able to taste it from bottle in enough time to get it into the latest Paso Robles report. This bottle was tasted at my office in Colorado and followed for multiple days. As from barrel, it's a dead ringer for a classic Cote Rotie and offers notes of black raspberries, cassis, olives, hints of bacon fat, liquid violets and pepper. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, elegant and silky, it has beautiful purity of fruit, fine tannin and a great finish, all suggesting it will evolve nicely for 10-12 years.

2014 LEDGE Syrah, Adams Ranch Vineyard. (91 pts, Drink: 2015 – 2022)

Tasted shortly after bottling, the 2014 Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard checks in as a mix of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache. Its medium ruby color is followed by a sweet, charming bouquet of spiced cherries, framboise, leafy herbs, bay leaf and flowers. Supple, forward and silky on the palate, it needs a touch more mid-palate depth and oomph, but nevertheless offers incredible charm. Drink it over the coming 5-7 years.

2014 Ledge G2 Vineyard Tannat (92 pts, Drink 2018-2028)

Just recently bottled, the 2014 G2 Vineyard Tannat is a beautiful, inky purple colored beauty that was completely destemmed and spent 18 months in new barrels. It dishes up tons of black and blue fruits, violets, white pepper, exotic spices and pen ink nuances, as well as full-bodied richness, no hard edges, bright acidity and a focused, streamlined feel on the palate. Forget bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following decade.

2014 LEDGE Zinfandel, Dante Dusi Vineyard (90 pts. Drink: 2017 – 2024)

I liked the 2014 Zinfandel Dante Dusi a touch more from barrel than bottle, but it's still an enjoyable wine that has character. Spice-box, dried herbs, cigar wrapper, black cherries and blackberries all emerge from this medium-bodied, firm, yet beautifully focused Zinfandel that will benefit from a year in bottle and keep for 7-8 years.

2014 Ledge G2 Vineyard Late Harvest Grenache Blanc (87 pts. Drink 2015-2016)

A solid fortified effort, the 2014 G2 Vineyard Late Harvest Grenache Blanc offers plenty of baked apple, toasted bread, ultra-ripe pineapple and bruised peach in a medium to full-bodied, supple, yet a touch rough around the edges style. Harvested at 27.7 brix, fortified with 5% brandy when it hit 8% residual sugar and then aged in new French oak, drink it over the coming year or two. Mark commented that they really wanted some botrytis with this cuvee, but no such luck.

Reviews by Jeb Dunnuck WA# 220:

2013 LEDGE Syrah, Adams Ranch Vineyard. (Drink: 2016 – 2025)

While I wasn’t able to taste the ‘12s from Mark Adams from bottle, I loved them from barrel last year and I’m sure they turned out nicely. The 2013s were scheduled to be bottled later in the summer and will probably be in bottle by the time you read this. This is another one of those tiny upstarts from Paso Robles making gorgeous wines.

Incorporating a tiny splash of Mourvedre and Grenache, the 2013 Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard saw lots of whole cluster and has an old-school nose of peppery meats, currants, spice-box and rose petal. There's a touch of brett here, but it's plays nice and adds to the overall profile. Medium to full-bodied, structured and concentrated, it's an impressive Syrah to drink over the coming 7-8 years.

2013 LEDGE Syrah, James Berry Vineyard (92-94 pts. Drink: 2017 - 2025)

Darker and deeper than the Adams Ranch Syrah, the 2013 Syrah James Berry Vineyard saw 50% whole cluster and is still aging in 50% new French oak. Black and blue fruits, smoked earth, pepper and a kiss of vanilla emerge from this full-bodied, beautifully concentrated and layered Syrah. It has lots of potential, but is still a youngster so give it a year or three in bottle.

2013 LEDGE Zinfandel, Dante Dusi Vineyard (89-92 pts. Drink: 2016 – 2023)

Schedule to be bottled later this summer, the 2013 Zinfandel Dante Dusi should be outstanding. From a large vineyard of own-rooted vines, it saw 50% new oak during its elevage. Peppery herbs, bramble and juicy berry fruits all emerge from this rich, nicely concentrated and elegant red. Showing some chocolate and integrated oak on the finish, it should benefit from a year or so in bottle and drink well through at least 2023.

2014 LEDGE Grenache Blanc, G2 Vineyard (90 pts.)

Brought up all in stainless steel, the 2014 Grenache Blanc has classic apple, butter citrus, mineral and touch of hazelnut to go with a juicy, clean, lively style on the palate. Showing the acidity that's common from this variety in California, it will be versatile on the dinner table and a great meal starter.

2012 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard (92-94 pts. Drink 2014 - 2026)

Tasted out of barrel, the 2012 Syrah Adams Ranch (same blend/elevage as the '11) has a touch more berry fruit to go with pretty mint, green herbs and sappy flowers on the nose. Described as "more Rhone than Guigal" by Justin Smith (I tasted these wines with Justin and Adams at Saxum), this beauty has medium to full-bodied richness, a lively, elegant style and terrific focus on the finish. I suspect it will put on weight once in bottle, and it should have 10-12 years of longevity. This was another superb set of wines by winemaker Mark Adams, who is the assistant winemaker at Saxum. In addition to getting some grapes from Justin's James Berry Vineyard, he has an estate vineyard that's located just west of James Berry, in an east-facing, cool terroir. Harvest from this site normally stretches into late October, and the wines show the cooler nature of the site, with gamey, northern Rhone-like aromas and textures. This is an up-and-coming estate that needs to be on everyone's radar!

2011 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard (93 pts. Drink 2014 - 2021)

Tasted out of bottle, the 2011 Syrah Adams Ranch, which incorporates a splash of Grenache and Mourvedre, comes from cool, sandstone soils and was fermented with 60% whole cluster and aged all in neutral oak. It's a beautiful wine that has some cool climate notes of white pepper, olive, bacon fat and blackberry fruit in its fresh, elegant and medium-bodied profile. It opens up in the glass, has solid mid-palate depth and building tannin, all of which suggest it will evolve nicely. Give it another year or so and plan on drinking bottles by 2021. 

 2012 Ledge Syrah James Berry Vineyard (94+ pts. Drink 2015 - 2025)

Coming from one of Paso Robles grand cru sites, the 2012 Syrah James Berry Vineyard has a serious floral streak to go with gorgeous black raspberry and blackberry fruit, ground pepper, licorice and crushed rock-like nuances. Full-bodied, elegant and layered, with rock-solid mid-palate depth, this beauty will benefit from short-term cellaring and evolve for over a decade. 

2012 Ledge Vineyard Drive (93pts. Drink 2015 - 2022)

The 2012 Vineyard Drive is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Roussanne that spent 18 months in a combination of new and neutral French and Hungarian oak barrels. It possess a Rhone- like style with its peppery underbrush, graphite and sweet berry fruit. This is followed by a medium to full-bodied, rich, yet structured and tannic wine that will require 1-2 years in the cellar, and evolve nicely through 2022.

2010 Ledge Syrah - Adams Ranch Vineyard (94 pts. Drink 2015-2025)

Made by Mark Adams, who is the assistant winemaker at Saxum, the brilliant 2010 Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard (almost all Syrah yet with a splash of Grenache; 60% whole cluster) comes from estate vineyards and steep slopes located just to the west of James Berry Vineyard. Purple/ruby in color and semi-opaque, it offers up a complex, northern Rhone-like bouquet of raspberry, black currant, mint, cracked pepper, violets and distilled herbs that flows to a deft, elegant palate that packs loads of richness and depth without any apparent weight. Turning more and more floral with air, it is a beautiful wine that will drink well for 12-15 years.



LEDGE IS FEATURED IN THIS BOOK "THE NEW CALIFORNIA WINE: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind A Revolution in Taste"

Wine reviews by Jon Bonne:

Adams offers a bridge between Paso's lavish ways and a more cerebral effort.

2010 Ledge Adams Ranch Vineyard Paso Robles Syrah ($55, 14.5%): As a Templeton native, Mark Adams has a great loyalty to the Paso area, and this new effort from own-rooted vines on his family's land - sand, versus the limestone prevalent in the area - about a mile from the famed James Berry vineyard shows how Paso can yield big, lusty red wines that sacrifice neither focus nor savory nuance. Fermentation of whole grape clusters in neutral oak leaves this pungent, inky and intense: sweet meaty aspects and black licorice, violet liqueur, crushed plum.

Grenache continues to show its virtues, as does Mourvedre. In all, it adds up to a terrific time to be enjoying these varieties - and to discover both old terroirs like Napa's Phoenix Ranch and new ones like Mark Adams' patch of Paso Robles.

2010 Ledge Adams Ranch Vineyard Paso Robles Syrah ($55, 14.5%): While Mark Adams has put in time with the region's stars (Saxum), he also grew up in the Paso area; this comes from own-rooted vines on his family's land, about a mile from the famed James Berry plot. This is big, powerful Paso that sacrifices neither focus nor savory nuance. Fermented with whole clusters in neutral oak, it's pungent and inky, full of sweet grilled-meat aromas, black licorice and plum liqueur.

JANCIS ROBINSON - February 15, 2016

The following tasting notes focus on Rhône-variety wines produced throughout Paso Robles tasted during an intensive week of research on the region late last summer by the reviewer.  

Wine Reviews by Elaine Chukan Brown:

Ledge, G2 Vineyard Grenache Blanc 2014 Paso Robles (16.5/20.  Drink 2015-2025)

Fresh, zesty fruit with wax accents. Bright fresh palate. Nice focus with a saline crunch throughout.

Ledge, Adams Ranch Vineyard 2012 Paso Robles (17.5/20. Drink 2015-2025)

Fresh aromatics and a delicious palate. Notes of spiced red fruit with pleasing sapidity, mouth-watering acidity and nice balance. Beautiful fruit. Lovely harmony throughout. GV

Ledge, Dante Dusi Vineyard Zinfandel 2012 Paso Robles  (17.5/20. Drink 2015-2025)

60% whole-cluster pressed. Vines planted in the 1920s. One of the oldest plantings of Zinfandel in Paso Robles.  
I really enjoyed this wine. Sweet, fresh red fruit focus with lots of complexity – rose, citrus zest, and spice. Nice lightness with plenty of flavour. Stimulating sapidity, mouth-watering length.

Decanter Latest Tastings - September 15th, 2015

Listed as a Top Ten Californian Syrah - Jon Bonné

Mark Adams finds an elegant path between Rhône restraint and Paso’s boundless fruit. There’s magnitude and grace: a shaker’s worth of peppercorn and tarry plum and blueberry fruit that signals its brooding, earthy countenance-93pts

Read more here.


From Paso Robles: Taming the Beast (Sept. 2016 by Josh Raynolds

Templeton native Mark Adams is one of Paso’s rising stars winemakers. Although Adams’ approach shows the distinct influence of the years he has spent working alongside Justin Smith at Saxum, the wines have also been steadily settling into a style that shows a touch more delicacy and approachability than the Saxum wines. That’s neither a good nor a bad thing but a point wine lovers should be aware if they expect the Ledge wines to be Saxum substitutes. While Adams sources fruit from some of the best vineyards in the region, including James Berry and G2, pride of place, unsurprisingly, must be given to his own site, the Adams Ranch Vineyard, which sits on Vineyard Drive, in the heart of the Willow Creek District. Adams’ parents purchased the 40-acre property in 1977 to raise cattle and. Today, Mark Adams and lives on the property with his family and has been slowly planting the suitable portions of the land to vines since 2005. The connection to this land is, obviously, highly personal. The lineup of wines from Ledge has grown since Adams set up his own label in 2009 and. Given the modest prices and quality, these wines deliver superb value.

Wine Reviews by Josh Raynolds Sept 2016

2014 LEDGE Syrah, James Berry Vineyard (94 pts. Drink: 2020 – 2027)

Vivid magenta. An explosively perfumed, complex bouquet displays intense boysenberry, cherry liqueur, licorice, allspice and sandalwood scents, while a smoky mineral topnote gains strength with air. Completely stains the palate with sweet black and blue fruit, spicecake and candied lavender flavors that show impressive litheness for their heft. Smooth, slow-building tannins shape the finish, which hangs on with outstanding, floral-driven persistence.

2014 LEDGE Syrah, Adams Ranch Vineyard (94 pts. Drink: 2020 – 2027)

Opaque ruby. Heady black raspberry, cherry cola, violet and incense aromas, along with notes of Indian spices and cracked pepper. Sweet, seamless and penetrating on the palate, offering concentrated yet lithe red and dark berry and floral pastille flavors supported by a spine of juicy acidity. Blends power and elegance with a deft hand and finishes extremely long, sweet and pure; fine-grained tannins make a late appearance.

2013 LEDGE Zinfandel, Dante Dusi Vineyard (93 pts. Drink: 2019-2025)

Dark purple. Heady, smoke- and spice-accented aromas of blackberry and cherry liqueur and incense take on a hint of Indian spices as the wine opens up. Lush and expansive in the mouth, offering palate-staining black and blue fruit preserve and fruitcake flavors that are lifted and sharpened by a vibrant mineral element. Becomes spicier and more energetic with air and finishes extremely long and smooth; velvety tannins lend gentle grip.

2014 LEDGE Vineyard Drive, Rhone Blend (93 pts. Drink: 2019 – 2025)

Brilliant violet. Powerful mineral- and spice-tinged red fruit liqueur aromas are complemented by suggestions of candied lavender and white pepper. Concentrated yet lively and sharply delineated, offering intense black raspberry and spicecake flavors and an exotic Asian spice quality that builds on the back half. Shows wonderful clarity and lift on the finish, which is framed by silky, harmonious tannins that fold smoothly into the intense, juicy fruit.

2014 LEDGE Tannat, G2 Vineyard (92 pts.  Drink:  2020-2026)

Inky purple. Powerful aromas of black currant and candied plum develop incense and smoky Indian spice nuances with air. Deeply concentrated dark berry and candied licorice flavors are complicated by notes of smoky minerals and candied violet, and a subtle peppery quality adds spiciness. Chewy tannins give shape to the long, smoky finish, where the floral note echoes strongly.

From Paso Robles and Neighbors: New Releases (Sep 2015) by Josh Raynolds

Mark Adams, high school buddy of, and long-time assistant winemaker to, Justin Smith at Saxum, has emerged as one of the region’s best new producers. He is increasingly relying on fruit grown in the family vineyard on Paso’s west side where he and his wife Ciera live. As might be expected, the Saxum influence burns strong here but over the years I’ve started to detect a somewhat lighter touch to Adams’ wines than those of his mentor. That’s relative, of course, because the Ledge wines are anything but demure.

Wine Reviews by Josh Raynolds:

2013 LEDGE Syrah, James Berry Vineyard (94 pts. Drink: 2020 – 2026)

Glass-staining purple. Wild, powerfully scented blue fruit, lavender and Asian spice aromas expand and deepen with air, picking up suggestions of cola and woodsmoke. Sweet, seamless and concentrated, offering sappy black and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors that show a deft blend of power and vivacity. Closes sweet and juicy, with outstanding persistence and fine-grained tannins. There isn't much of this one to go around but it's well worth the hunt.

2013 LEDGE Syrah, Adams Ranch Vineyard (93 pts. Drink: 2019 – 2025)

Inky purple. Powerful blackberry and boysenberry scents are complemented by star anise, white pepper and candied licorice. Broad, sweet and seamless, with smoke and mineral notes brightening the lush dark berry and floral pastille flavors. Finishes sweet, spicy and very long, with smooth tannins building slowly and framing the wine's intense fruit.

2013 LEDGE Vineyard Drive, Rhone Blend (92 pts. Drink: 2018 – 2023)

Opaque ruby. Intense cherry, raspberry and floral oil scents, plus suggestions of incense and white pepper. At once juicy and seamless, with gently sweet red berry and cherry flavors fleshing out with aeration. Silky and suave in character, finishing with excellent clarity and persistence and gentle tannins that frame the exuberant fruit.

Wine review by Antonio Galloni:

The 2011 Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard is exceptional. Crushed rose petals, rocks, red berries, mint, game and wild flowers are all quite lifted and nuanced in the glass, partially because of the inclusion of 50% whole clusters and the heavy sandy content in this site. Aromatically nuanced and gracious on the palate - especially by Paso standards - the Adams Ranch is an eye-opening wine that shows what is possible in this appellation. Simply put, this is a fabulous wine in every way.

The 2012 James Berry Vineyard is 100% Syrah that spent a good 4-5 weeks on the skins with 50% whole clusters. Dark plums, smoke, iron, savory herbs and a hint of oak all come through in a sweet, inviting wine that impresses for its depth and nuance. The 2012 is virtually impossible to resist, even at this early stage.

Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews - August 12th, 2015

Ledge Vineyards founder Mark Adams returned to Paso Robles and wine growing after a life in music and sound effects editing for major producers in Los Angeles. Today he makes some of the most delicious and drinkable Rhone wines of Paso Robles while farming his home vineyard in one of the few sandy soil sites of the county. In the last few weeks he expanded his family’s Ledge Vineyard planting to grow more Rhone whites and reds. Mark also makes wine just across the street with one of his long time friends, Justin Smith at Saxum.


2010 Ledge Syrah Adams Ranch Vineyard Paso Robles (92 pts.)

Deep, vivid ruby. Vibrant red and dark berry aromas are complicated by smoky minerals, potpourri and spices. Sappy, velvety and focused, with pure black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a zesty jolt of cracked pepper. Gains sweetness with air and finishes with excellent clarity and gentle tannic grip. Mark Adams is the long-time assistant winemaker at Saxum, where he makes his wines, and this fruit is sourced from his family's steeply sloped vineyard located just west of Saxum.