Paso Robles’ Adelaida Vineyards: History (and Delicious Wine) in a Glass

Adelaida’s Viking Vineyard

Owned and operated by the Van Steenwyk family since 1994, Adelaida Vineyards is located in the Santa Lucia Mountains just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean.  The winery and vineyard are in the Adelaida district of the Paso Robles AVA where they enjoy high elevations (1800′) and shallow chalky mountain soils that give low yields and concentrated fruit.  This area also sees dramatic 40-50° swings in daily temperatures, but despite its proximity to the Pacific it doesn’t enjoy a coastal climate. The wines show excellent freshness and acidity due to the limestone soils.  The 145 acre vineyard includes the almost 60 year old original 35-acre Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard of Hoffman Mountain Ranch.  Winemaker Jeremy Weintraub is crafting some superb wines. We last tasted with Jeremy while preparing our Report #62 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon & Other Bordeaux Varieties

Advised by legendary Andre Tschelistcheff, Dr. Stanley Hoffman planted 35 acres of part of his Mountain Ranch to own rooted Pinot Noir at 1600-1725’ elevation. It now provides the fruit for the Adelaida HMR Pinot Noir. Another 8 acres of the vineyard was planted to Chardonnay in 1973 and is the fruit source for the Adelaida HMR Chardonnay.  The HMR vineyard has very low yields, about 1 ton/acre; fortunately, phylloxera has not been a problem. Other key vineyards include Anna’s Vineyard, 1595-1935’ elevation on calcareous limestone soil, and the Viking Estate Vineyard, planted in 1991 on chalk rock soils with 30° slopes. Anna’s is planted to Rhone varieties, while Viking is mostly planted to Bordeaux varieties. Adelaida is gradually converting to dry farming and is organically farmed and certified.

Jeremy Weintraub has been the winemaker at Adelaida since 2012. He received his Master’s in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis in 2004 and was previously the winemaker at Shadow Canyon Cellars in the York Mountain AVA and Seavey Vineyard in the Napa Valley.  He also has international winemaking experience at the Carrick and Murdoch James wineries in New Zealand and Tenuta Tignanello in Italy.   Ryan Kemp is the assistant winemaker.

 

The Wines

Adelaida 2019 Chardonnay HMR Estate Vineyard Adelaida District Paso Robles ($45) 93  Medium yellow straw with light green and gold flecks. Scents of orchard fruit complemented by touches of vanilla and hazelnut. Well balanced and well integrated with firm acidity on a full, broad palate with stone and orchard fruit flavors, a texture that evokes stony minerals and a long, precise finish. Sourced from the Hoffman Mountain Ranch Vineyard originally planted by Dr. Stanley Hoffman in the 1960s. Matured 9 months in 39% new French oak barriques. 14.3% alc.

Adelaida 2020 Rosé ($30) 92  Starbright medium coppery salmon. Light earthy scents complement red apple skin and clementine on the nose. Silky, very clean mouth feel with firm acids and a lovely melange of flavors that mirror the bouquet.  Outstanding purity and length on the finish. A purpose made rosé that’s a blend of estate fruit from the Adelaida district–43% Mourvedre, 40% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, and 8% Counoise picked 3 weeks before harvesting for the red wines and cofermented; 13.2% alc.

Adelaida 2019 Pinot Noir HMR Estate Vineyard Adelaida District Paso Robles 92  Beginning with a fresh, slightly candied dark red berry nose, this estate Pinot Noir offers a soft attack with savory, dark fruited flavors and nice uplifting acidity on an unctuous palate. A delicious, complex and layered Central Coast Pinot with kirsch and cassis notes that linger on the finish. Stylistically, the ripe fruit character of this Pinot is different from those of the cooler regions of the California coast. Sourced from the oldest Pinot Noir vineyard in California’s Central Coast, the HMR Pinot Noir parcel was planted in 1964 and is self-rooted. 13.6% alc.

Adelaida 2018 Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon Viking Estate Vineyard Adelaida District Paso Robles ($60) 93 Opaque blood red in color with scents of spicy dark fruit and toasted oak, this is a rich, dense Cabernet Sauvignon. It offers a silky smooth attack and a suave mouth feel with excellent depth on the palate, revealing notes of ripe dark fruit, spicy oak, cola and chocolate. Finishes long with a palate staining character.  Sourced from the organically farmed, south facing Viking Estate Vineyard with chalky rock soils at 1400-1695′ elevation and a 30° slope and aged 20 months in 60% new French oak. 14.7% alc.

Adelaida 2018 Mourvèdre Signature Anna’s Estate Vineyard Adelaida District Paso Robles ($65) 95  Semi-opaque ruby red with a pronounced bouquet of ripe blackberry and blueberry complemented by notes of lavender and grilled meat. Full in the mouth with a rich concentration of dark berries, underbrush, and savory herbs. Shows impeccable balance with pliable tannins, a mineral like hedonistic texture, and a very long, rich finish. Sourced from Anna’s Vineyard with calcareous limestone soil at 1400-1695′ elevation, destemmed, optically sorted, and fermented using ambient yeast in concrete and large oak foudres; matured 18 months in 45% new French oak. 14.8% alc.

Adelaida 2018 Syrah Signature Viking Estate Vineyard Adelaida District Paso Robles ($75) 94  Opaque carmen ruby. Effusive nose of rich ripe, spicy fresh huckleberry and cassis and confiture of black raspberry. In the mouth, it’s hedonistic, lugubrious and lush with outstanding depth, palate-staining richness and purity. Beautifully structured with a firm backbone, refreshing acidity, and a long, lively finish. 15.3% alc.

Adelaida 2018 Twenty Three Twenty Estate Vineyards Adelaida District Paso Robles ($100) 95 Opaque with an intricate nose of blackberry, grilled meat and freshly cracked black pepper. Big and very flavorful on the palate with spice, violets, blackberry pie, and baking chocolate notes. Considering the richness, there’s excellent acidity on this wine, finishing rich and sweet.A red blend of 34% Syrah, 30% Petit Syrah, 17% Mourvedre, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Alicante Bouschet sourced from estate vineyards located in the Adelaida District; 14.9% alc.

 

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