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by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

Wines of Adelaida & Kaleidos - November 5, 2008


We tasted last night (11/5/08) some PasoRobles Wines of Adelaida & Kaleidos:

  1. Adelaida Pavanne CheninBlanc SantaLuciaMtns (2 acres; 30 yr old last harvest; 184 cs; 14.6%;
    www.Adelaida.com; HoffmanMtnRanch vnyd) 2002
    : Med.gold color; beautiful/fragrant rather minerally/
    stoney bit metallic/steely some perfumed talc/French whore house somewhat old Loire nose; soft/rich/lush 7Up/stoney/minerally bit caramel/old botrytis wine old Loire flavor; very long bit caramel/aged minerally/stoney/steely/metallic soft/lush complex finish; some of that caramel/old Loire character but much richer/lusher/softer than old Loire; terrific/interesting wine in great shape. $40.00
  2. Adelaida Viognier GlenRoseVnyd/PasoRobles (14.6%; 403 cs) 2005: Light gold color; attractive pear/
    peach/Viog light minerally lovely fragrant nose; tart bright pear/peach/Viog light minerally/steely flavor; tart light minerally/chalky bright/pear/peach finish; a very attractive bright light minerally Viog. $30.00
  3. Adelaida Viognier GlenRoseVnyd/PasoRobles (15.1%; 174 cs) 2006: Light gold color; light oak rather
    ripe/overripe/peachy/Viog light perfumed talc nose; soft/lush very ripe/peachy/Viog light earthy bit grapefruity/citric flavor; med.long lush/rich/soft very ripe/peachy/Viog finish; pleasant very ripe Viog but veers a bit too much towards DollyParton. $30.00
  4. Adelaida 43% Roussanne/57% GrenacheBlanc RhoneStyleWhite GlenRoseVnyd/PasoRobles
    (466 cs; 14.9%) 2005
    : Med.dark gold color; beautiful/intense floral/honeysuckle/pineapple some pear/peach bit toasty/oak nose; soft/fat/porky very lush/floral/honeysuckle/pineapply light toasty/oak flavor; med. soft/fat/porky pineapple/peach/floral/honeysuckle finish; a lovely perfumed nose but a bit too soft/fat/porky on the palate. $35.00
  5. Adelaida SchoolHouse PinotNoir/PasoRobles (U/U; HMR Ranch planted in 1964; 14.3%) 2006: Med.
    color; attractive earthy/plummy bit Burgundian rather buttery/oak bit herbal light toasty complex nose; soft bit hard/bitter plummy/earthy/minerally/PN slight Burgundian/toasty/oak flavor; med. bit hard/bitter/tannic plummy/earthy/minerally/PN light toasty/oak finish; very attractive nose but rather hard/bitter on the palate; some like the Chalones of old; quite good Pinot for the price. $18.00
  6. Adelaida PinotNoir HMR Estate/SantaLuciaMtns/PasiRobles (Planted in 1964; U/U; 1244 cs; 14.3%)
    : Med.dark color; more intense plummy/earthy/licorice/PN slight herbal some Burgundian/light charred/ toasty/oak complex nose; soft rather deep/rich plummy/bit blackberry/black cherry/PN rather Burgundian/earthy some toasty/charred/FrOak complex flavor; very long slight tannic earthy/Burgundian strong plummy/licorice light toasty/oak finish; very attractive/interesting Pinot; a bit of history here. $30.00
  7. Adelaida Version GlenRoseVnyd/PasoRobles RhoneStyleRedWine (U/U; 1184 cs; 34% Mourvedre,
    22% Syrah, 18% Grenache; 14% Counoise; 12% Cinsault; 14.8%) 2004
    : Dark color; rather pungent/
    licorice/plummy/Mourv slight black cherry slight alcoholic very interesting nose; big Mourv nose; tart bit earthy/dusty rather plummy/licorice/Mourv bit gamey/minerally light toasty/pungent/oak slight tannic flavor; long bit tannic/tight plummy/licorice/Mourv some gamey/earthy finish; needs several yrs yet; a very attractive Rhone blend that speaks mostly of Mourv and reminds me some of the ContraCosta Mataro. $35.00
  8. Kaleidos Osiris PasoRobles (68% Grenache, 22% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre; 15.7%;
    www.KaleidosWine.com) StevenArthurMartell 2005
    : Very dark color; strong toasty/oak intense
    strawberry/Grenache/plummy light toasty/oak some peppery/herbal rather perfumed/fragrant nose; very strong strawberry/Grenache/raspberry/framboise rather high-end CdP like strong toasty/oak bit herbal/earthy flavor; very long some tannic/hard strawberry/Grenache/framboise bit herbal/peppery some toasty/oak finish; needs 2-6 yrs; a lovely blend as good as mony high-end CdP; very fairly priced at $28.00
  9. Kaleidos Morpheus PasoRobles (15.9%; 70% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre) 2005: Very dark/black color; very strong blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah almost Oz-like licorice/framboise very fragrant
    nose; soft/lush bit alcoholic/hot intense boysenberry/blackberry/Syrah Oz-like some toasty/oak framboise/intense bit tannic flavor; long very ripe/boysenberry/blackberry/Syrah bit hot/alcoholic light toasty/oak some tannic finish; bit on the ripe side and bit Oz-like but a pretty classic Paso Syrah. $34.00
  10. Kaleidos Morpheus PasoRobles (16%; 67% Syrah, 23% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre) 2004: Black color;
    rather funky/wet dog fur/wet army blanket strong charred/toasty/oak bit licorice/pungent canned tomatoes rather strange/funky nose; rather hot/alcoholic wet dog fur/wet army blanky/funky very ripe/some boysenberry/Syrah flavor; med.long funky/wet dog fur very ripe/overripe/boysenberry/Syrah some toasty/oak finish; wine seems over the top and rather funky and perhaps a bacterial spoilage problem. $28.00
  11. Kaleidos OakRock PasoRobles (15.5%; 62% Syrah, 16% CS, 11% CabFranc, 11% PetiteVerdot) 2005: Black color; intense very ripe blueberry/boysenberry/Syrah/framboise some Cab/herbal strong toasty/oak/smokey/ pungent bit Oz-like pretty intense nose; soft/lush strong/blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry some herbal/Cab/ licorice/pungent/blackcurranty some toasty/charred/oak slight tarry flavor; very long rather tannic strong blackberry/boysenberry bit herbal/blackcurranty/Cab some toasty/oak finish; a very good blend w/ lots of Oz-like character; needs 2-6 yrs; the Cab really comes thru; great red for the price. $24.00
  12. Adelaida Syrah VikingEstate/PasoRobles Reserve (1-1.5 tons/acre; Planted in 1991;
    EstrellaSelection clone; 110R rootstock; U/U; 176 cs; 14.1%) 2005
    : Very dark color; intense blackberry/ peppery/smokey/charred/oak very ripe blackberry/blueberry/Syrah slight earthy/dusty complex nose; tart rather tannic/hard rather toasty/smokey/pungent/charred/oak intense blackberry/blueberry/DrPepper/Syrah bit dusty slight Cornas-like flavor; very long strong/pungent/charred/oak intense blueberry/blackberry/Syrah/ripe slight earthy finish; needs 3-8 yrs yet; a pretty big/rugged Syrah w/o that overripe/jammy Paso character. Bit pricey at $65.00
  13. Adelaida Zin PasoRobles (U/U; 912 cs; 14.5%) 2006: Black color; very intense blackberry/Zin/licorice ripe slight earthy/tarry very attractive nose; soft intense blackberry/Zin/boysenberry slight AmOak/vanilla/pencilly light tannic flavor; long light tannic very strong blackberry/licorice/Zin slight tarry/earthy light vanilla/oak finish; lots of
    ripe character but avoids veering into that jammy territory; remends me a lot of the early PeachyCanyon Zins of old; very good Zin for a very good price. $26.00
  14. Adelaida CabSauvg HMR/Viking vnyds/PasoRobles Reserve (60% HMR vnyd, 0.5-1 ton/acre; Planted
    in 1964, HMR Selection clone, OwnRooted; 40% Viking vnyd, 2-2.5 tons/acre, Planted in 1992, Clone 8, 110R rootstock; U/U; 322 cs; 14.3%) 2004
    : Black color; very strong plummy/blackcurranty/boysenberry/Cab slight earthy/tarry cedary/pencilly/toasty/oak lovely complex nose; soft very lush blackcurranty/boysenberry/Cab bit tannic cedary/pencilly/oak/pungent slight earthy/minerally/tarry complex flavor; very long rather tannic strong
    blackcurranty/Cab/boysenberry some toasty/pungent/oak slight tarry/licorice/earthy finish; needs 3-8 yrs; one
    of the best Paso Cabs I've had and better than the Justins I think; a bit like some of the Friuli Merlot/Cab blends; terrific Cab. $50.00

And the usual blatherings from TheBloodyPulpit:

1. Adelaida: This is a wnry that I go way back with, but have sorta lost contact with over the yrs. In the late '80's, we bought a lot of their Zin. I believe JohnMunch was the winemaker and they were pretty big/rustic Zins at a very good price. On a wine board a month ago, someone was asking about old Pinot vnyds in Calif & thought there was one in PasoRobles. Bingo...of course...Dr.StanleyHoffman, a cardiac surgeon in SanLuisObispo had a home up in the SantaLuciaMtns to the west of Paso. Starting in 1964, he started planting
grapes there on his ranch and eventually started his wnry, HoffmanMtnRanch, one of the very/very early wineries in Paso. These were probably the first new plantings up there since IgnacePaderewski, famed concert pianist, planted up there in ??, not too far away. According to MaryBaker, three of those original Paderewski Zin vines are surviving. In 1973, Dr.Hoffman hired Andre Tschelechev as his winemaker. The HMR vines were all planted on their own roots. I believe DrHoffman is still alive...or was in 1998. His sone, Michael took over, but the wnry closed in '88. The vines were pretty much neglected for almost a decade. I recalled tasting the HMR wines back then and thought them pretty good, especially the Pinot.

As an aside, back in the '80's sometime, HMR produced a Pinot that they put a label on that was an exact replica of the DRC label, down to the individually #'d btl. And sold it pretty cheap, much to TraderJoe's I recall. For some reason, the French wnry got a bit huffy over that and took them to court, or threatened to. Don't think I'd wanta mess w/ DRC. So they had to pull back all the wine and relabel it. I'll have to go back thru my 100,000+ collection and see if I can resurrect the label. Actually, the wine was darned good. Don't know why those DRC folks were so upset?? Pompous French!! In 1992, the VanSteenwyk family bought AdelaidaWnry and then the adjacent HMR vnyd, nearly all of it the Pinot. The Chard vnyd went to HiddenMtnRanch (another HMR) I believe. Under Munch, the Pinot vnyd was restored to its former glory. I believe HMR is now called Thunderbolt, but I've never tried their wines. In the mid-'90's I pretty much kissed off Adelaida because of some lacidasical treatment I got in their tasting room about '94. I finally went back about a yr ago, the treatment was very welcoming and attentive, well informed pourers, and the wines pretty
good. I had tasted the Adelaida Rhones at HdR from time to time and liked what I tried.

So...I thought it would be a good time to revisit the Adelaida wines and renew my connection to HMR. I presume the CheninBlanc was from original HMR plantings of DrHoffman. I vaguely recalled him making a CB. I gather that those CB vines have now been pulled. Bummer...because this CB was a terrific example of CB, the kind you seldom find in Calif anymore. Reminded me a bit of some of the old Chalone CB w/o the oak. Still available. The HMR Pinot was very/very good, a slice of history. It had that plummy character that I
recall StanleyHoffman's Pinots as having. A bit like some of the Chalones of old, back when they made great Pinot. It doesn't have the bright/vibrant cherry character of many Calif Pinots. Maybe a bit like the AltoAdige Pinots in character, some like those from the Baden region. Paso in not an obvious region to grow Pinot, other than the chalky/limestone soils, but I've had a number that have been impressive, if'n you don't
worship at the altar of typicity and demand they taste like RRV Pinot. Apparently, Adelaida has a bunch of their own Rhone varieties and other interesting stuff planted, including some Portugese varieties, that are not yet producing. Their Rhone stuff also is made from from purchased grapes from Glen Rose vnyd. GR sells to a number of good producers and TablasCreek makes a LasTablas blend from there, a wine I'd never heard of. I presume the GR material all came from the TablasCreek stock. Curious if Adelaida will continue w/ GR
grapes when their new plantings come on line??

Across the board, I was impressed w/ these Adelaida wines. Fairly priced and not a weak one in the lineup. The Zin and the Cab are particularly good. It seems the StanleyHoffman legacy is in good hands here.
2. Kaliedos: I tasted one of their wines at HdR this year and was fairly impressed. So I thought it would be worthwhile to taste their full tableau. Started in '04 by SteveMartell, it is located in the TempletonGap area of the SantaLuciaMtns in WestSide Paso. It appears to be not far from Rozet and FratelliPerrata in the foothills of the SL Mtns. Except for the '04 Morpheus, which seemed to have some problem like bacterial spoilage; the '05's were all three pretty impressive reds. A winery I need to get to know better. The WebSite doesn't have
much to say about Steve so don't know what his background is nor what drew him to Rhones & Paso.
3. Mary's gonna love this post. With all the historic detail, she's sure to find an error in there and gleefully set me straight...a rare opportunity for her!!


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