Jada Vineyard Paso Robles
Jack Massina, a New York heart surgeon, purchased the land in 1998 and in the following year 68 (27.5 ha) of the 100 acres (40.5 ha) purchased were planted to Syrah and a mix of Bordeaux varietals by John Crossland, the vineyard manager of the Beckstoffer Vineyard in the Napa Valley. Until 2005, grapes were sold but in that year they engaged Scott Hawley, who previously worked for FETZER and SUMMER WOOD as their winemaker. Currently, the winemaker is David Galzignato, who was previously the winemaker at Charles Krug. In 2007, some of the vines were replanted by adding clonal variations of Syrah as well as the introduction of Grenache, Mourvèdre and white Rhône Varietals including Viognier, Roussanne, and Grenache Blanc. At the same time, vine density was increased to over 1800 per acre to encourage extra low yields.
The site, located in the Templeton Gap, is cooled by ocean breezes and this coupled with rocky and calcareous soil makes it an ideal location for both Rhône and Bordeaux varietals. The wines, mainly blends, are all given a significant personalised name. “Hell’s Kitchen” (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Viognier and Roussanne) combines leather, bitter chocolate and spice with big tannins. It needs 5 years to show its full potential but can be approached young. “Jersey Girl” (100% Syrah) has excellent varietal flavours, smooth tarry-ness without overpowering the wine. “Jack of Hearts” (45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Petit Verdot and 5 % Merlot) is smooth, dark and inky, the Petit Verdot giving it extra depth and colour. “Passing By” is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot – smooth and silky, the dark berry fruit is tempered by slight herbaceous flavours and a little sweetness on the finish. A tiny quantity of a Viognier/Roussanne/ Grenache Blanc blend is made but this was only tasted in barrel. It is now labelled XCV on release. The hand-picked grapes are sorted and gravity fed into small open-top fermenters with most of the fruit being destemmed although some lots receive some whole clusters.
A 4 to 6 week fermentation skins follows before basket pressing. The malo-lactic is in French Oak barrels (between 40% and 80 % new, depending on the blend) and then ageing is for around 8 to 12 months for the white and 18 to 36 months for the reds, receiving only one further racking for blending before being transferred to tank for final blending and bottling unfined and unfiltered. At present output is restricted to the ultimategoal of reaching not more than 3,000 cases which has just recently been attained. (NB)
To find out more about Jada Vineyard and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide California Central Coast..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines.