Parador Cellars Gran Reserva
Parador Cellars Gran Reserva

Parador Cellars Gran Reserva

California / Napa Valley, United States 2012 (750mL)
Regular price$150.00
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Parador Cellars Gran Reserva

Having sold the great wines of the world over a long career as a wine merchant, Steve Ventrello crafts Parador with what might be called a European sensibility. This Cabernet-fueled blend, while in no way lacking in body and structure, is constructed more along old-school Bordeaux lines—he isn’t gunning for “cult wine” status, but rather a powerful, subtly complex red that he’d want to drink both on release and 10-20 years down the line. But this sumptuous red has a crucial blending partner, too, and that’s where the above-mentioned “Spanish twist” comes in: Tempranillo makes up over a third of this stunning 2012 Gran Reserva! It adds rich, velvety textures and a unique savory imprint that truly has no equal in the entire Napa Valley.

Whether it’s the Mayacamas Range to the west or the Vaca Range to the east, the mountains that flank the Napa Valley are a treasure trove of world-class vineyards, and today’s two sources are brilliant examples. The “Hossfeld” Vineyard, once an overgrown wilderness perched 1,000 feet above the valley floor, was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon back in the early 1980s by Susan and Henry Hossfeld. This sustainably farmed site is extremely steep and terraced, with very thin topsoil over volcanic bedrock. Soda Canyon, where Hossfeld is perched, sits between the Stag’s Leap and Atlas Peak AVAs, up above Yountville. Ventrello’s precious Tempranillo, on the other hand, hails from the sandstone-rich “Rancho Chimiles” vineyard. This site was specially planted for Parador with vine cuttings that originated from Ribera del Duero and Rioja in the ‘90s. This site, too, sits at 1,000 feet in elevation on a range to the southeast of Soda Canyon. 

At the winery, the varieties fermented separately before blending and subsequently aging for 36 months in two French puncheons, one of which was new. After bottling, today’s small parcel never moved from its original place of rest. After we submit our order, Steve will personally deliver the wines at our warehouse—how’s that for flawless, direct-from-the-source provenance? 

Steve models his wines with the inspiration of Vega Sicilia, so it’s no surprise that today’s is as close as California can get to that legendary label. This 2012 “Gran Reserva” spills into a Bordeaux stem with an opaque dark ruby core with flecks of garnet. The aromas are rich, intense, dark, and intoxicating with cassis, ripe black cherry, roasted plum, dried black raspberry, dusty herbs, clove, coconut husk, sandalwood, and licorice. The palate is sumptuous and finely layered with a wide range of powerfully ripe berry fruits on a hardy backbone of savory earth and baking spice. It should be decanted 15-30 minutes before consuming and tracked for at least three hours! All other bottles will keep aging gracefully until their 20th birthday and beyond.

Parador Cellars Gran Reserva

United States


Columbia Valley

Like many Washington wines, the “Columbia Valley” indication only tells part of the story: Columbia Valley covers a huge swath of Central
Washington, within which are a wide array of smaller AVAs (appellations).


Willamette Valley

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has become an elite winegrowing zone in record time. Pioneering vintner David Lett, of The Eyrie Vineyard, planted the first Pinot Noir in the region in 1965, soon to be followed by a cadre of forward-thinking growers who (correctly) saw their wines as America’s answer to French
Burgundies. Today, the Willamette
Valley is indeed compared favorably to Burgundy, Pinot Noir’s spiritual home. And while Pinot Noir accounts for 64% of Oregon’s vineyard plantings, there are cool-climate whites that must not be missed.


Santa Barbara

Among the unique features of Santa Barbara County appellations like Ballard Canyon (a sub-zone of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA), is that it has a cool, Pacific-influenced climate juxtaposed with the intense luminosity of a southerly
latitude (the 34th parallel). Ballard Canyon has a more north-south orientation compared to most Santa Barbara AVAs, with soils of sandy
clay/loam and limestone.


Paso Robles

Situated at an elevation of 1,600 feet, it is rooted in soils of sandy loam and falls within the Highlands District of the Paso Robles AVA.

New York

North Fork

Wine growers and producers on Long Island’s North Fork have traditionally compared their terroir to that of Bordeaux and have focused on French varieties such as Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

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