Ebb & Flow
Those of you who have been a part of our winery for several years know very well that this is not your usual wine release newsletter. I prepare a newsletter roughly four times a year and see it as an opportunity to connect with my friends and loyal supporters regarding my thoughts and ideas that I find unique and meaningful. I have had the opportunity to meet many of you personally - during visits to my cellar, at wine events, or in your homes. I have found you all to be more than just wine drinkers, but inquisitive and sophisticated explorers of wine of the highest quality. Thus, I try every so often to step beyond my boundaries of comfort and share something that might be somewhat unusual but always very meaningful to my heart.
Some of you have likely noticed that for years we have been dedicated to producing quality wines of singular variety, be it Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah or Grenache. Yet over the last few years, we began to experiment with blending varietals to create wholesome beautiful wines. A few of those blends are included in this special release. Making its debut is Space Cadet, a wine most unique in its nature and certainly not to be missed.
A few years ago, I was invited to a house party in Bel Air Los Angeles hosted by Shelly and Gail, longtime supporters who very quickly became my dear friends. "Would you like to meet an astronaut?” Shelly asked me, “You know, the man that walks on the moon?” I replied, “Are you kidding me? Of course, that would be great!” A few hours later I found myself in the company of David Scott, a distinguished and vibrant eighty-four-year-old gentleman who served as the commander of Apollo 15 in August 1970. As we started a conversation about space exploration and the moon, I quickly became enchanted by David’s incredible wit and sense of humor. After a few glasses of wine, I found myself in the company of a lifelong friend.
During my years as a restaurateur in Toronto, I would observe the influence of the lunar cycle on people’s behavior - both that of the restaurant staff and its patrons. After several years of observation, I concluded that there are two ways a full moon affects us. Sometimes it can be a quiet and peaceful response that causes us to reflect on our lives. More often, however, it makes us feel disjointed resulting in mental and emotional chaos. It pushes our boundaries of comfort and can provoke us to do things we would never consider doing.
From the very beginning of my winemaking career over sixteen year ago, I have closely watched how the moon affects the taste of the wines that are maturing in barrels. Like the tides, I believe that wine is ever evolving, never constrained to a single shape or form. Through its life from grape to bottle it experiences a plethora of change, constantly lengthening, thickening, equating into a perfection we hope it will one day achieve. The continuous change between tides, relies greatly on our Moon. Something so powerful holds so much influence on our everyday lives. Wine mirrors the tides of ebb and flow. Aromatics change, flavors evolve, structure expands and contracts. It’s one of the most mesmerizing facets of winemaking that I am still working to fully understand.
As we delve deeper into biodynamic winemaking and viticulture, we are discovering more and more subtle energies that govern the life of our fine wines. What we do in the vineyards and the cellar at Paul Lato Wines is a very high level of true and artisanal winemaking. Inspired by my conversations with David and the great minds who have pioneered space and many of its mysteries, Space Cadet is a representation of exploration and experimentation. It is a wine that has constantly become more complex and multi-dimensional through its journey in barrel and bottle. We have designed a special label to make this wine stand out as truly unique. Space is the last frontier, and the mystery of things we may never know exists in both wine and space.
In addition to the Space Cadet, we also offer you the second release of Letters To Europe, which is a part of our artist series that has been very well received by wine critics and consumers alike. Finally, we are releasing the 2017 vintage of the wonderful wines from the notable vineyards that you all know so well. These are the single vineyard, single varietals that we have made for years and who have brought so much enjoyment to all of us.
I am convinced there is an abundance of pleasure in every one of these wines. I also hope that every so often - while you open a bottle in the company of close friends or in solitude in front of the fireplace - that you will be able to find inspiration in every bottle that will inspire you to wonder about the mysteries of the universe as well as the uniqueness and the meaning of all of our lives.
With best wishes,
97 pts. Robert Parker Wine Advocate September 2019 2016 Space Cadet Bien Nacido Vineyard, Larner Vineyard 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache $85
This inaugural vintage of Space Cadet is erupting with sassafras and dried thyme aromatics. The integration of french oak and bright red cherry on the palate creates a rich balance of acidity and tannin. It's refined flavors of blackberry preserves and herbal notes are constantly evolving into a wine that will mature beautifully in your cellar.
96 pts. Robert Parker Wine Advocate, 96 pts. Antonio Galloni Vinous September 2019 2017 il Padrino Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley $90
Once again, Bien Nacido Syrah produces one of our most complex and intriguing wines, creating harmony between many worlds of flavor. Ripe blueberry, lavender, incense, and leather all emerge as a symphony of aromas from this full-bodied, structured wine. Deep, rich, fabulously concentrated, and pure on the palate, it stays tight and compact, with notable precision and length. Whether it’s a few minutes in the glass, or several years in the cellar, this wine becomes increasingly layered with time.
94 pts. Antonio Galloni Vinous 9/19 2017 Cinematique Syrah Larner Vineyard, Ballard Canyon $85
This Blockbuster Syrah has a larger-than-life presence in the glass. Plums, blackberries, blueberries, ground pepper, and olive notes all flow to a powerful, full-bodied Syrah that has a luxurious, layered character. Fine and elegant tannins lead to a long, seamless finish, a true expression of the beautiful 2017 vintage. After you finish this bottle, you’ll be asking for an encore.
94 pts. Antonio Galloni Vinous 9/19 2017 Lumiere Grenache Larner Vineyard, Ballard Canyon $75
Aromatic and fruit driven, the nose jumps out of the glass with juicy flavors of sun ripened strawberry, fresh rose, and crushed clove. A layered, balanced palate begins with soft tannins and mouthwatering acidity. Flavors of pomegranate and cherry preserves blend seamlessly into a pleasant finish of star anise and spice. This wine is beautiful now but can also be enjoyed as it matures 2-3 years to unveil its full potential.
94 pts. Antonio Galloni Vinous 9/19 2017 Ora et Labora Grenache Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley $75
This wine has a seductive nose of kirsch, potpourri and white pepper with touches of garrigue and dried lavender. The palate is full-bodied, rich and concentrated with notes of blackberry preserves and layers of spice. With a focused style and a structured backbone, this wine finishes with smooth flavors of cranberry and vanilla. Lay this bottle down for 2 to 3 years and it will truly shine.
96 pts. Robert Parker Wine Advocate, 94 pts. Antonio Galloni Vinous 9/19 2016 Letters to Europe - Previously Released 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache $100
This wine reminds me of a classic 1960’s Cadillac- polished and smooth, accentuating every curve and corner. The perfumed nose of wild clover honey and ripe cherry is followed by smooth tannins and complexity. Dried fruit, nutmeg and Tennessee blackberry jam create a long succulent finish. It’s a smooth ride along the palate and will continue to enhance its flavors even more over its time in your cellar. A truly picturesque wine.
Cellar potential 10+ years.
*This is the second edition of this blend. It is only made during special vintages when many different conditions come together to make it possible.
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Due to hot weather orders will be shipped on Monday, November 4, 2019. *Note that an adult 21 and over must be available to sign for the wine upon delivery. Please contact Cynthia Segovia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805.878.9141 for assistance in placing your order.