Paul Lato – “The” Number One Grand Cru Producer from California!

It is with a happy, but heavy heart that I have to say -  the 2011 Paul Lato bottlings are OUTSTANDING but VERY limited! I wish I could say that I have a lot to offer of this amazing winery, but I don’t. As it has been the case in the past 5 years, we pre-sell this wine in early February for early March release and it sells out within 72 hours of our offering!

Paul LatoWe are offering FREE SHIPPING on six bottles (mix and match) or more within the 48 states, (HI & AK a small surcharge for air shipping will apply) – USE DISCOUNT CODE “PAULLATO11″ during check out

Paul Lato  was born in Poland. He worked as a certified Sommelier in Toronto’s most exclusive restaurant and visited California for the first time in the early 1990′s. Jim Clendenen (ABC and Clendenen wines) told Paul to just pack up and move here, and he would show him the ropes.

About 13 years ago he did make the move and took a job at Bien Nacido vineyards for just $10.00 per hour, he did get free “lodging” at the bunkhouse in the vineyard. The Bien Nacido owner pushed Paul to make his own wine. With some tutoring (he observed the best in the business for some years, asked a lot of questions and experimented  a lot) he made his first wines and by chance met Robert Parker.

Paul LatoParker asked him if “he” was the Polish Sommelier that makes wine and said that he wanted to taste it.  Parker told him that he would tell him immediately if the wine was the real McCoy or …. (slang for excrement – I like to keep my pages PG 13)

The rest, as they say, is history.  Parker was blown away and gave Lato a rave review. From then on, Paul’s new career was born (FYI – his first vintage he made 6 barrels of wine, 3 different wines)

I met Paul in 2005 and have been a big fan since day one! I could say that Paul and I have become good friends along the way as well.

Paul Lato Wines

Paul Lato 2011 Chardonnay “Belle de Jour” Hilliard Bruce Vineyard
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 59.99

This is the second release and already created a real following.  I would be hard pressed, but I can tell you that this one is every bit as good as the 2010 (94 Pt rated) bottling, maybe a touch more focused and more elegant! A  real “skilled” winemaker gem! Due to the success with the 2010 vintage I have a lot of demand for this bottling and it will be sold out well before it arrives in my store!

Robert Parker 94 Points: “A new addition to the lineup, the 2010 Chardonnay Belle de Jour Hilliard Bruce Vineyard is a richer, fatter wine than Lato’s Chardonnay from Sierra Madre. Firm veins of minerality frame layers of subtle, tropical infused wine. The Hilliard Bruce has more depth and power than the Sierra Madre, and is also more intensely mineral. If that sounds appealing, believe me it is. The 2010 is a great showing for Paul Lato in his inaugural vintage of Chardonnay from the Hilliard Bruce vineyard. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016″
Paul Lato 2011 Chardonnay “East of Eden” Pisoni Vineyard
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 69.99

This is the Premier Release of the “East of Eden” Chardonnay from the famed Pisoni Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Only a few barrels were produced, and I was lucky to get a few cases from Paul as they were all earmarked for his mailing list and for restaurants like French Laundry, Per Se, etc.

This is probably the best rendition of a 1er Cru Montrachet produced in California.  As you are well aware of Paul’s meticulous wine-making skills and strategy, nothing escapes this guru of precision!
Paul Lato 2011 Chardonnay “Le Souvernir” Sierra Madre Vineyard
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 59.99

The 2011 Le Souvenir, is a real Paul Lato craftsmanship!  One would not be shy putting this wine among a group of the best from California and Burgundy and to give them a run for their money.  For those who loved the previous vintages, I can only say, jump on this one as it is a real sleeper!

Robert Parker 95 Points: “The 2009 Chardonnay Le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard might easily be mistaken for a top-flight white Burgundy. The wine blossoms on the palate with layers of varietal fruit, minerals and flowers. It is a strikingly pure Chardonnay loaded with class and pedigree. The fruit is ripe and quite generous, but never tropical or heavy in any way. The wine was fermented and aged in barrel (with no stirring of the lees), and was not racked until it was prepared for bottling. There is more than enough depth and sheer pedigree to handle the 70% new barrels. Frankly, this is a must-have wine from Paul Lato.”
Paul Lato 2011 Pinot Noir “Atticus” John Sebastiano Vineyard
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99

This is a more than worthy follow-up to the 2010 bottling.  This wine might be Paul’s boldest production, yet another gem in my book.  It is by far Paul’s smallest bottling, only 3 barrels produced.  The 2011 is an image of the 2010 that received rave reviews from my clients and critics alike!

Robert Parker 93+ Points: “A larger-scaled style of Pinot emerges in the 2010 Pinot Noir Atticus John Sebastiano Vineyard. This is a distinctly big, fruit-driven Pinot long on style and personality. The yields are extremely low in this site, and while the wine has fabulous concentration, it also lacks the finesse of the best wines in the lineup. Today, my impression is that the Atticus needs time to settle down a touch, although it will always retain some of its pure and, at times, rough-around-the-edges, enthusiasm. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016″
Paul Lato 2011 Pinot Noir “C’est La Vie” Wenzlau Vineyard
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99

This is the latest addition to Paul’s portfolio of stunning wines! Only a few barrels were produced from this amazing vineyard located at the western end of the Santa Rita Hills appellation, northwest of Santa Barbara. This property is mostly clay and limestone soils and completely organic and biodynamic. I was the lucky recipient of just a few cases, so hurry if you like to get your hands on this new release!
Paul Lato 2011 Pinot Noir “Duende” Gold Coast
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 69.99

This is by far the big fan among many of our clients, and the good news is that I have a few extra cases of this wine to offer this year!  As the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going, and Paul proved yet again why he is one of the most consistent winemakers in California (and beyond).

Robert Parker 93 Points: “The 2010 Pinot Noir Duende Gold Coast Vineyard opens with an intriguing bouquet laced with dried red cherries, tea leaves, sweet herbs, autumn leaves, anise and tobacco. The aromas and flavors are beautifully layered in this nuanced, delineated Pinot. There is an inner sweetness and perfume that suggest the use of whole clusters, but the fruit was completely destemmed. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020″
Paul Lato 2011 Pinot Noir “Lancelot” Pisoni
Retail 100.00 – GGWC 94.99

The 2011 Lancelot is Paul’s best effort from this esteemed vineyard since he received a 96 Point rating (2008 vintage).  The only negative I can say, is the fact that there is not more wine to go around!

Robert Parker 96 Points: “The 2008 Pinot Noir Lancelot from the famed Pisoni Vineyard was fermented with indigenous yeasts and bottled without filtration. It exhibits a gorgeous bouquet of forest floor, black raspberries and black cherries that suggests a top premier or grand cru from Vosne-Romanee. A beautiful texture, layers of fruit, superb purity and a voluptuous mouthfeel make for an exquisite Pinot Noir reminiscent of a hypothetical blend of ripe California fruit and the complexity of a Burgundy. Drink this beauty over the next 7-8 years. ”
Paul Lato 2011 Pinot Noir “Prospect” Sierra Madre
Retail 88.00 GGWC 82.49

This rendition of the Sierra Madre Vineyard’s “Prospect” will make you dream of a 1er Cru Pommard at a much lower price point!  This latest release is Paul’s best effort to-date and I have only 4 cases of this wine to offer!

Robert Parker 94 Points: “Lato’s 2010 Pinot Noir The Prospect Sierra Madre Vineyard is impeccable. Sweet dark cherries, mint, tobacco and sweet spices are beautifully layered in this expressive, nuanced Pinot. The Prospect shows lovely depth, but no excess weight and a more fruit-driven personality than the Duende. At the same time, I wouldn’t wait too long on the 2010, it is singing right now. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018″
Paul Lato 2011 Pinot Noir “Seabiscuit” Zotovich Vineyard
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 74.99

This latest Zotovich “Seabiscuit” bottling is by far Paul’s best effort to date! I would say that it would even outdo his 95 Point rated 2010 version!  As it is the case with all of Paul’s wines, I get limited amounts of this great gems, so I can only remind you how great and limited they are!

Robert Parker 95 Points: “Utter harmony and class distinguish the 2010 Pinot Noir Seabiscuit Zotovich Vineyard from the vast majority of wines in this vintage, although that is in relative terms, as the average level is already very high. Sweet perfumed aromatics lead to layers of rich, expansive fruit in this large-scaled, dramatic Pinot. It’s all there in the glass. Hints of orange peel, flowers and sweet spices linger on the exotic finish. This is arguably the most complete and alluring of Lato’s 2010 Pinots. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020″
Paul Lato 2011 Pinot Noir “Suerte” Solomon Hills
Retail 90.00 – GGWC 82.49

Paul is not slowing down one bit, and this workhorse “Suerte” will amaze many Pinot lovers alike! It shows gorgeously young, and will even improve a lot more in the years to come!  Only a few barrels produced!

Robert Parker 94+ Points: “The 2010 Pinot Noir Suerte Solomon Hills Vineyard is fabulous. It boasts tremendous richness and power in its rich, heady, dark fruit. This is a classic expression of Solomon Hills Pinot. Persistent saline notes underpin layers of juicy yet precise, nuanced fruit. The 90% new oak is a bit prominent, but the Suerte is striking juice all the same. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018″
Paul Lato 2010 Syrah “Cinematique” Santa Maria
Retail 90.00 – GGWC 84.99

This is in my book THE best Cinematique to-date bar-none! I believe strongly that is equal, if not better than the great 2007 and 2008 vintages (97 Point rating)

Robert Parker 94 Points: Lato’s 2010 Syrah Cinematique Larner Vineyard boasts striking depth and purity. This weightless, totally gracious Syrah impresses for its nuance, delineation and sheer class. Violets, black pepper, exotic spices and a hint of orange rind linger on the finish. Lato co-fermented 5% Viognier in the Cinematique. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020″
Paul Lato 2011 Syrah “Il Padrino” Bien Nacido
Retail 100.00 GGWC 94.99

This is fast becoming Paul Lato’s BEST Syrah bottling numerous years in a row.  If one were in the Rhone Valley, it would put many of the big names to shame!  In a recent tasting Paul’s Il Padrino bottling beat out 100 point wines like Alban’s Reva, and others!  I only get 3 cases of this gem, so jump on it NOW!

Robert Parker 96 Points (2010): “One of the Lato flagship wines, the 2010 Syrah Il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard is simply stunning in this vintage. Layers of rich, dark fruit burst from the glass in this expressive, nuanced wine. Hints of bacon fat, crushed rocks, spices and tapenade emerge over time, but readers will have to wait at least another year or two before the wine’s full personality emerges. Lato made the Padrino with the addition of 5% Viognier and used 20% whole clusters, the first time he has used stems in Syrah. The 100% new oak barrels are beautifully integrated. This is another utterly majestic wine from Paul Lato. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020″

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