2003 Paraiso Santa Lucia Highlands Monterey County Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 3,990 cases, $15. The Paraiso ("Pa-rye-zo") estate vineyard is high in the Santa Lucia Mountains. The name, "Paraiso," was given to the mountainside by early Spanish explorers. The Smith family has lived on the 400-acre estate for three decades. The winemaker is David Fleming. A Gold Medal winner at the 2006 Orange County Fair Wine Competition. · A very decent Pinot Noir featuring dark stone fruits, dark berries and oak on the nose and palate. A medium-weighted wine that like many Pinot Noirs in this price range, leaves you wanting more on the finish. Still, a satisfactory Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands where many Pinot Noirs are priced at $50 and up. Reviewed September 5, 2006

Winery: Paraiso Vineyards