Humbled by these words from the recent Jeb Dunnuck wine reviews. Thanks Jeb!
The young Mark Adams, who trained under none other than Justin Smith, continues to produce brilliant, singular wines from both his estate fruit and some purchased fruit, which comes from some of the crème de la crème sites in the appellation. The estate vineyard is almost entirely own-rooted and is propagated using a massale selection from the vineyard, which was largely planted from Syrah cloned from the Bone Rock parcel in James Berry. This is a cooler, sandy site located in the Willow Creek District and the wines from here always have some old-world character, yet still speak clearly of Paso Robles. Readers looking for the next cult mailing list are advised to get on this estate’s bandwagon.
Slightly deeper colored, the 2016 James Berry Vineyard checks in as 64% Grenache, 21% Syrah, 11% Mourvèdre, and 4% Roussanne that was 75% destemmed and spent 19 months in a new Atelier 350-liter barrels and a neutral 300-liter barrel. Unfortunately, there’s not much to go around, but this is a magical wine that offers a fabulous perfume of spring flowers, black raspberries, ground pepper, and crushed rocks. Deep, layered, multi-dimensional, and with awesome purity of fruit, it’s one of the finest wines yet from this estate and readers should jump at the chance to latch onto a bottle or two.
The 2016 Adams Ranch Vineyard reminded me of a top Côte Rôtie with its awesome bouquet of raspberries, spring flowers, pepper, green olives, and bacon fat. A blend of 86% Syrah, 11% Grenache, and 3% Roussanne (fermented with plenty of stems) that was brought up in neutral 400-liter barrels, this beauty is incredibly perfumed, complex, medium to full-bodied, and downright seamless. It’s a brilliant wine from the young yet talented Mark Adams!
Moving to the reds, the 2016 Zinfandel Dante Dusi Vineyard is 100% varietal and spent 20 months in neutral barrels. It offers classy notes of cranberries, blackberries, white pepper, and plenty of leafy herbs in its pretty, elegant, sappy style that’s going to age for upward of a decade.
Made mostly from Counoise, Mark has turned out a rocking rosé with his 2017 MCA Rosé James Berry Vineyard. Plenty of citrus, orange rind, and a touch of minerality all emerge from this fresh, yet textured rosé that ticks all the right boxes. Made in a Provençal style, it’s going to be versatile on the dinner table.