Vineyard: Paraiso

OwnerRich Smith
AppellationSanta Lucia Highlands
StoryParaiso is the oldest estate in the Santa Lucia Highlands. In 2008, the vineyard obtained official certification as a "Sustainable Vineyard," the first in Monterey to be so-certified.
VarietiesPinot Noir

Reviewed wines produced from this vineyard

2012 Bernardus Santa Lucia Highlands Saignée de Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 569 cases, $24. Made from fresh pressed Pinot Noir grapes. As the grapes are crushed, a small percentage of the juice is blend off before it has a chance to absorb much color from the grape skins. The barely colored juice is then cold fermented in stainless steel in the winery’s coolest cellar to dryness. A blend from multiple Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards including Pisoni, Rosella’s, Sierra Mar, Soberanes, Tondré Grapefield, Fairview, Highlands and Paraiso. · Magnetic pinkish red color and clear in the glass. Lovely nose perfumed with strawberries, red cherries, mangoes, redwood and allspice. The wine is fresh, crisp and bright on the palate with flavors of strawberry, red cherry and cotton candy with a hint of citrus. Drink this wine slightly chilled with sushi for a big smile. Score: 88. Reviewed March 29, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Dept C Paraiso Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.59, $35. Clone 777, de-stemmed. Aged in second year and neutral oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark red cherries and berries with a hint of toasty oak, fading in the glass over time. A delicate wine with demure flavors of cherries and strawberries and subtle oak. Decent. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Paraiso Vineyardes faîte Clone 943 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.81, TA 0.59, 50 cases, $50. Limited release. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels. Winemaker Dave Fleming. Moderately dark reddishpurple color in the glass. Exotic nose with scents · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Exotic nose with scents of earthy flora, conifer, black fruits and oak. Delicious mid palate array of full-bodied, in-your-face, dark red and black berry fruits wrapped in suave, fine-grain tannins. Very smooth and seamless with well integrated acidity, complimentary oak, and a stunning, lengthy finish. The intense fruit sap really stars in this wine. Score: 91. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Dept C Paraiso Old Vines Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., about 600 cases, $36. · Quite an elegant offering from the Santa Lucia Highlands featuring dark stone fruits, charming mouth feel, and lively acidity on the bright finish. Tasted in a restaurant and I was quite impressed, especially for the reasonable tariff. Reviewed June 19, 2010 WINERY »

2005 Figge Cellars Paraiso Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 895 cases, $42. This wine comes from the Paraiso Vineyard located at the southern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. Owners Rich and Claudia McFarland pioneered Monterey vineyards in the early 1970s. Son Jason now manages the 400 acres of vineyards planted primarily to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Figge accessed fruit from a block planted in 1998 to clones 115, 667 and 777. · A well-crafted middleweight style with plenty of charm. Spicy cherries, cola and a hint of fecundity in the nose. Flavors tend toward the earthy with dusted red and blue fruits and a deft touch of oak. A good acid spine backs up the pleasure. Reviewed November 20, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

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 »