In 1984, Jim Paras founded Jade Mountain in the Mount Veeder AVA. Specializing in Syrah, Mr. Paras began making his wines at a time when Rhone varietals were almost entirely unknown in Napa. He gained a dedicated following after making several, age-worthy vintages.
Paras Vineyard sits about 1200 feet above sea level. The property’s rocky soil and eastern facing slope is ideal for Syrah. All of the grapes are hand picked, and each lot is individually fermented before blending.
In 2000, winemaker Alison Green Doran joined Jade Mountain. After graduating from the UC Davis School of Enology, Doran was mentored by California wine legend Andre Tchelistcheff. She brings 24 years of experience as head winemaker at Firestone Vineyards to Jade Mountain.
The 2001 Mount Veeder Paras Vineyard Syrah is one of the most sought after red wines in the Napa Valley. It is one of the few non-Cab based wines that can be included in this category. The fact that this is the great 2001 vintage is an added bonus. It is a truly exceptional wine, and is also remarkably affordable given its cult status. Finding it for sale is the difficult part.
The winery’s non-vineyard designated Syrah is also a winner. The 2002 Napa Syrah is a seamless wine that is a pleasure to drink. It pairs nicely with robust, spicy foods as well as standing very well on its own.
The 2002 Old Vine Mourvedre is made from century old vines from the Evangelho Vineyard in Contra Costa County. The soil of this vineyard is littered with heat retaining rocks and is very similar to that of France’s Southern Rhone Valley.
The Jade Mountain 1999 Caldwell Vineyard Merlot is dominated by spicy fruit. A bit of Cabernet Sauvignon was added for structure and body. It pairs well with hearty fare.