Paul Lato “Cinematique” Larner Vineyard Syrah 2017

Paul Lato’s Wine Philosophy: “From my experience of tasting the finest wines from around the world, all the greatest wines possess authenticity, harmony, and elegance. These are the qualities I constantly try to capture in my wines. The ultimate goal is to create wines that are seamless and textural with enough structure and balance to complement fine cuisine.” 

In order to make wines of the highest caliber, Paul selects unique vineyards that are cared for by talented vineyard managers committed to excellence. He strives to locate and source from not only the best vineyards but the best blocks within each vineyard. Since every vintage is different, Paul does not believe in recipes. 

Bob Miller, the late co-owner of Bien Nacido Vineyards, gave Paul a job as a cellar rate, and let him stay for free in a bunkhouse at the vineyard. Miller also encouraged Paul to make his own wines. Starting with the 2002 vintage, he made six barrels of wine. By chance he met Robert Parker who was intrigued by the young winemaker and wanted to taste his wines. Paul had made 3 barrels of Pinot Noir and 3 barrels of Syrah. Parker told him he was starting with the hardest grapes to vinify and he was going to tell him if it was s**t, but Parker was impressed by the wines and told him he had tremendous talent. 

The 2017 “Cinematique” Syrah scored 97 points. It comes to us from the Larner Vineyard in Ballard Canyon appellation, in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country. Sexy notes of black raspberries, vanilla bean, bay leaf, ground pepper, and hints of crushed violets all emerge from this incredibly seamless, elegant, ethereal Syrah. Medium to full-bodied, deeply colored, and concentrated, it is no small wine, yet always has graceful, elegant style that builds beautifully with time in the glass. It has enough tannins to benefit from a year or three of bottle age and will drink brilliantly over the following decade or more. 

Dark fruit and peppery dishes will bring out the spicy and juicy aspects of this wine. Lamb Shawarma, Gyros, and even Indian tandoori meats pair excellently with Syrah. The earthy notes in this wine will be elevated by the rich spices in Indian food. 

Jennie Kaplan Woodson – December 2020

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