A Paragon of Viniferous Virtue?

San Luis Obispo is a very cool place.  A few years back I had the opportunity to spend several days there on business.  Luckily, the work schedule wasn’t overly taxing, and I got to look around a bit.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a rental car available.  Thus, I didn’t make it to any of the area wineries.  Taking a quick gander over at slowine.com – a website devoted to the wine industry in the San Luis Obispo (SLO) area – it looks like there are just under 30 wineries thereabouts.  Good thing I didn’t have a rental car, I may not have gotten any work done!

Edna Valley Winery, it seems, is by far the best known of the SLO wineries.  I’ve had Edna Valley wines in the past, and those experiences have all been good.  Obviously, then, I had no qualms in trying a new vintage of their product.  When I picked up the bottle of this Chardonnay, however, I was a little taken aback by the name on the label – Paragon.  The Oxford Dictionaries define paragon as “a person or thing viewed as a model of excellence.”  Oh boy, now that’s making quite a statement and a big promise as well!  And this is a Chardonnay from the Central Coast …  period.  It’s not Select or Reserve or Vintner’s Reserve or labeled as vineyard specific.  So how much of a paragon could this Edna Valley white be?

Winemaker:  Edna Valley
Wine:  Paragon
Varietal:  Chardonnay
Vintage:  2011
Appellation:  Central Coast, CA
Price:  $10.99

Notes:  The color of this SLO Chardonnay was a pretty, light golden hue.  In the bouquet I caught scents of tart apple, citrus, hints of spice and lemongrass.  On the tongue, it was on the lighter side of Chardonnay.  Acidity was good, and alcohol was at 13.9%.  As far as flavors go, I found light apple and citrus at the fore leading to more citrus with butterscotch highlights here and there.  Toward the end it developed a kerosene note, and toasty spices lingered on the finish.  This was a fun ride for my taste buds.  It wasn’t a full-bodied offering, but it certainly presented enough flavor to keep me interested.  Virtue?  Absolutely.  Paragon?  Well ….

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