Back in 2014 I traveled to Paso Robles and visited Law Estate Winery. Loved everything they had to offer and was overdue for a revisit when an invite from my #LAWineWriters group appeared. This was from my last taste:
“2010 was the first Law Estate Wines vintage after owners Don and Susie Law met with winemaker Scott Hawley. The Laws learned what works with limestone soil from Hawley and believe that their wines offer fresh acidity. Hawley became the winemaker in 2008 full time and continues to produce his own label as well. They tend to focus on Rhone style reds, promising that whites will be next. They currently have 54 acres, including Carignan and Tempranillo now in ground but not in wines yet. Hawley picks based on the maturity of the grapes and not the brix levels.” Read more.
This time around we met at Café Del Rey in Marina Del Rey where Chef David Vilchez had created the perfect pairing menu for four different wines:
Roasted Fennel Flat Bread with sun dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, dried cranberries and Manchego cheese - for the Grenache; Herb Crust N.Z. Lamb Loin in a prune and porcini sauce - for the GSM; Grilled Octopus with vanilla forbidden rice, blackberry, squid ink yogurt and black radish - with the Mourvedre and Petit Verdot/Coffee Spiced Filet en Croute - with First Tracks.
As is my custom, I did my review of the wines without food first. Then, once I was done, I dove in to the delectable dishes. Each dish had a unique twist to them that made them really pop for me with the wines: the fennel and cranberries in the flat bread, the prunes with the lamb, the vanilla forbidden rice for the octopus and the coffee in the filet.
Too busy to read further? Here’s a quick slideshow you can view to see all of the wines and dishes.
Tasting Notes, Aroma and Flavor separate by ;
The Nines 2012
Noting the browner color first, as it was different from all the other wines to be tasted, and different for a Grenache, I dove in to what would soon turn out to be my favorite wine in the tasting. Luxardo cherry, fig, anise, red rose and black licorice were lovely to find on the nose; with balanced flavors of both spice and red to black fruit. This wine had aged gracefully in my opinion. 95 Eve pts.
37% Grenache, 34% Mourvèdre, 29% Syrah
Aromas of blueberry, blackberry, dark plum, white pepper and a hint of a gamey quality; then came a mouthful of bright fruit, as well as the same blue to black fruit, a tarty note and a general lighter feel than some heavier GSMs. 92 Eve pts.
Luscious sweet prunes, black olive, spice, dark chocolate and perfumy; the same sweet prunes came through in the mouth, as well as cherry and spice, all in a nice harmonic balance. 92 Eve pts.
First Tracks 2013
40% Petit Verdot, 32% Syrah, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon
Blackest fruit to come out yet in today’s tasting, as well as cloves, green peppercorn – and huge; the mouth was no different with amazing black fruit and bold tannins. 94 Eve pts.
More to Learn in Today’s Tasting
From our winery hosts this time I learned that the wines are made from all LAW Estate owned vineyards, the grapes are all hand picked and hand sorted – and was also told that there are few wineries in Paso Robles doing this. Dan Law, being a geologist, dug 42 soil pits in this prized Adelaida AVA. The grapes benefit from a Mediterranean climate, which can be much cooler than other parts of Paso.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, a "certification in first globally-recognized course" as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com