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Wine of the Week: Jada Vineyards, Strayts, Paso Robles

Jada Vineyards is located in Willow Creek, Paso Robles, in Central California. This area although south of Napa averages only a few degrees warmer because of the cooling winds from the Pacific ocean through what is called the Templeton Gap between the rolling mountains of the Santa Lucia Range. These cooling winds create a high diurnal shift (the range between the warm day temperatures and cooler night temperatures) that allow this area to grow a wide range of varietals that still retain a freshness.

The vineyard sites of Jada Vineyards in Willow Creek have clay loam and limestone soils, which are perfect for the Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Syrah that are used in the blend to make the Strayts bottling. Currently at the helm of Jada is winemaker Joshua Harp, who joined in 2015, and wine making consultant, Anthony Biagi who has been a winemaker at Hourglass, Amici, Cade, Plumpjack, My Favorite Neighbor. This team has decided to co-ferment the blend, meaning after passing through the vineyard multiple times to gather each varietal at the optimal harvest time, they are crushed and fermented together, which creates a unique flavor compared to if they were crushed and fermented separately. The blend, which in the 2018 bottle I tasted was 77% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Petit Syrah, then will rest in 39% new French Oak and the rest in neutral barrels for 16 months.

The 2018 Strayts was a deep ruby, lightly staining the glass. Notes of black cherry, black plum, cloves and cinnamon, licorice and vanilla jump out at first. Then as you dig in deeper, dried red flowers, potting soil, black olive and the Moroccan spice of ras el hanout begin to emerge thanks to the non-conventional addition of the Petit Syrah to the Bordeaux blend.

An absolute beauty for the upcoming winter months, a prime example of how Paso Robles can excel!

Check out more of their wines at

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