2017 Parsonage Village Vineyard, BDL Red Wine, Central Coast, California.
I’ve been a fan and a follower of Parsonage for close to twenty years now and have tasted most everything they’ve done and the current set of wines are just as appealing and delicious as ever with opulent density and deep flavors offering luxurious drinking pleasures, especially their latest Aussie and this BDL Red Wine, made from classic Bordeaux varietals. This Bordeaux-style blend nicknamed The BDL is mostly from purchased fruit with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot playing the biggest roles. The new label features the quilt “French Laundry” by owner Bill Parson’s hugely talented wife Mary Ellen Parsons, who’s artwork is displayed at their Carmel Valley Village tasting room. The wines are crafted by Frank Melicia, Bill’s son in law and the winemaker at Silvestri, who perfectly captures the house style with ripe fruit and bold expressive wines like this one with its layers of black fruits, creme de cassis and sweet toasty oak accents. Melicia’s BDL shows a polished tannic structure and displays a Cabernet dominant personality with blackberry, black currant, plum and cherry fruits along with a Bordeaux like smoky element and pencil lead as well as anise, delicate floral notes, cedary spices and creamy vanilla from the use of a moderate amount of new French oak. With the devastating local fires ruining with terrible smoke taint the 2020 red grape harvest in Carmel Valley it is a great time to support these family wineries like Joullian, Galante, Boete, Georis, Joyce, Massa and Pasonage to name a few, we are all in this together.

This dark and bold forward wine excels with robust and protein rich cuisine and was great pairing with a marinated Tri-Tip or flank steak, a cut that brings out the complexity and length in this none too shy BDL Red Wine, though I can see this going great with earthy flavors like those in wild mushroom dishes and or juicy short ribs. After a set of difficult vintages between 2013 to 2016, the 2017 is a warmly full bodied year that suits these Parsonage wines and I’m really excited for the 2018 and 2019 releases, which look to push this small family winery to the next level in terms of quality, depth and balance. Pasonage is a tiny estate, it is a realization of a dream for Bill Parsons, a Vietnam vet and recently an acclaimed author who just published his first novel based loosely on his war time experiences, he planted the seven-acre Parsonage Village Vineyard back in June 1998, releasing his first wine from the 2000 vintage. The south-facing hillside vineyard is 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean and a half mile east of the Village on Carmel Valley Road, it sits on steep slopes and is a natural sun basket making for intense, fully ripe and dark grapes, from vines that are exceptional small yielding. The vineyard is planted to 3.5 acres of Syrah, 2.0 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.0 acre of Merlot and 0.5 acre of Petit Verdot, and it should be noted that Parsons was the first to plant Syrah in Carmel Valley and it remains a wine very close to Bill’s heart. The BDL sadly sold out really fast, before I got a chance to even review it, but the Estate bottlings are now being released and are even more interesting!
($42 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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