2013ParsonageXandro2013 Parsonage, Xandro Reserve, Proprietary Red, Estate, Carmel Valley.
One of the great wines of Carmel Valley, Parsonage Village Vineyard’s Xandro Reserve is an opulent blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah wonderfully crafted by Frank Melicia, Bill Parson’s winemaker and son in law, who is making quite a name for himself. I’ve followed Parsonage since the beginning and have many times suggested that these wines are the benchmark wines of this region, this still seems to be the case, especially when it comes to Cabernet, Syrah and big red blends, but other wineries have raised their game and a generation has grown up here making for some serious competition to Parsonage’s wines, wines from Holman Ranch, Albatross Ridge, Figge, Madeleine and Silvestri (Frank Melicia also makes the wines here) all make fantastic wines, all have reached that top echelon, with some others putting in superb efforts from Carmel Valley and just beyond in the greater Monterey area including Arroyo Seco. The Parsonage wines show gorgeous fruit, density and length. While Carmel Valley’s old school reds from the likes of Durney (now Heller) Galante and Bernardus have made good examples, and Bordeaux style reds, the Parsonage wines are richer, fuller and much more lavish, especially the reserve wines that rival Napa and Paso for hedonistic pleasure, though with tiny amounts available the downside is the seemingly high prices keep these wines from gaining mainstream attention, in other words, these wines remain one of the great secrets of the Central Coast. The 2013 Xandro Reserve has a flamboyant and expressive character with a beautiful bouquet of violets, sweet new French oak, creme de cassis and mixed spices leading to a dark fruited palate of boysenberry, blackberry, blueberry and succulent currant with smoke, camphor, graphite, black licorice, cinnamon stick, kirsch, spiced plum, cigar wrapper, vanilla, sage, chalky stones, mocha and cedar. Everything feels textural, thick and sensual, but there is nice vigor, power and focus, making this unique red blend very interesting and dynamic, it shows both varietals in a polished way, similar to some of new generation of westside Paso Robles, this is a deeply colored and full bodied wine, it is ripe, but with refined tannins that holds things together. The 100% Syrah “Rocco” and the Petit Verdot based “Bixby” are also sublime wines and are worth checking out, but this Xandro Reserve really delivers, this is very sexy stuff, drink from 2016 to 2023.
($80 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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