Friends, the long wait is finally over. The Paul Lato wines have reached our shores (read warehouse). The 2015 might be the sleeper vintage and well-worth the wait! The Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are shipping NOW, the Syrah and Grenache in August!
Paul Lato was born in Poland. He worked as a certified Sommelier in Toronto’s most exclusive restaurants and visited California for the first time in the early 1990′s. Jim Clendenen (ABC & Clendenen wines) told Paul to just pack up and move here, and he would show him the ropes – 14 years later 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. Parker 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) Parker was blown away and gave Paul Lato a rave review. From then on, Paul’s new career was born.
I met Paul in 2002 and have been a big fan since day one, and could say that we have become good friends along the way. Paul is even making wine under my own “MilAnge” label!
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more Paul Lato Wines (mix & match OK) use code PAULLATO during checkout
Paul Lato 2015 Chardonnay “Belle de Jour”
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99
This bottling has created a real following. I would be hard pressed, but I can tell you that this one is every bit as good as the ‘12 (95 Pt WA), ‘13 (96 Pt WA) & ‘14 (95 Pt WA) bottlings, maybe a touch more focused and more elegant! A real “skilled” winemaker gem! Due to the success with the previous vintages I have a lot of demand for this bottling and it will be sold out well before it arrives at my store!
Paul Lato Notes: “Duvarita is a biodynamic-in-the-making vineyard, with a purity, brightness, and provincial beauty to the fruit. Fresh aromas of yellow apple and lime rind arise on the clean and crisp nose, while fully-rounded tones of butterscotch and meyer lemon envelop the palate in juicy bliss. The finish is long and mouth-watering with toasted hazelnut and honeysuckle notes lingering.”
Robert Parker 2014 Review 96 Points: “Leading 2014 Chardonnay Belle de Jour comes from a cool site west of the Sta. Rita Hills and is from the Calera and Mt Eden clones. It’s the first wine from Paul from this site and there’s a scant six barrels to go around. Spending 14 months in 50% new French oak, it has a terrific bouquet of smoke, charcoal, stone and apple fruits, brioche and integrated oak. This gives way to a rich, layered Chardonnay that has bright acidity, a layered, seamless texture and a great finish. In short, it’s another sensational Chardonnay from a great winemaker.”
Paul Lato 2015 Chardonnay “Souvenir”
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99
This is a more than worthy follow-up to the 2012,13 & 14 bottlings which received 96-97 Point ratings from Robert Parker! This wine might be Paul’s boldest production, yet another gem in my book. It is by far Paul’s smallest bottling, only 4 barrels produced. This is a carbon copy of the 2011 that received rave reviews from my clients and critics alike! I’d be shocked not to see similar scores, or higher!
Paul Lato Notes: “23-year-old Wente clone vines contribute to the classic, precise nature of this naturally-pleasing Chardonnay. Golden straw-colored in the glass, notes of clover honey and roasted plantain notes emerge from the nose with great clarity. The mouthfeel is electric and buoyant, with wet limestone minerality and a stunning swell of lemon-like acidity that enlivens the palate.”
Robert Parker 2014 review 96 Points: “Made all from the Wente clone, the 2014 Chardonnay le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard saw more new oak than most of the releases and spent 14 months in 70% new barrels. Paul has a two-acre parcel in this site, which is located in the Santa Maria Valley, and he first started working with fruit from this site in 2007. This 2014 is medium-bodied, ultra-fine and utterly seamless on the palate, with textbook notes of buttered apples, stone fruits, white flowers and hints of minerality. Every speck of new oak has been completely absorbed by this sensational Chardonnay, and it should drink gorgeously for 5-7 years. I don’t have any experience with aged examples of this cuvee, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it keep for longer either.”
Paul Lato 2015 Chardonnay “East of Eden” Pisoni Vineyard
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99
This is the Fifth Release of the “East of Eden” Chardonnay from the famed Pisoni Vineyard. 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, Gary Danko, 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! I’d say that this wine is very similar to the great 2013 vintage, which received 97 Points from Parker!
Paul Lato notes: “The low-yields of Pisoni Vineyard contribute to this muscular and delineated wine, which several Master Sommelier’s have compared to the legendary Corton of Burgundy. The unique aromatic profile shows alpine flower along with sea water elements and a touch of sweet almond paste. The palate has a textured, tannin-like structure with subdued mineral tones that allow for white floral and tropical qualities to lift up beautifully.”
Robert Parker 2014 – 96 Points: “From one of the top sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands, the 2014 Chardonnay East Of Eden Pisoni Vineyard is a tour de force in Chardonnay that will stand up with the best California offers. More masculine, rich and textured, with tons of caramelized orchard fruits, orange blossom, minerality and brioche, it has a great mid-palate, excellent acidity and shows serious length on the finish. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak, it should have a decade or more of longevity, although there’s no need to delay gratification too long.”
Paul Lato 2015 Pinot Noir “Seabiscuit”
Retail 90.00 – GGWC 84.99
This latest Zotovich “Seabiscuit” bottling is by far Paul’s best effort to date! I would say that it will rival his 97 Point rated 2013 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!
Paul Lato Notes: “Robust and explosive, this is an exquisite expression of a previously-neglected vineyard that is now becoming a thoroughbred with the proper attention. The nose is huge, bursting with redcurrant, blueberry, and iodine in rich array. The strength of the aromatics is matched on the palate as sturdy, age-worthy tannins reveal wave after wave of dried fruit and hard spice.”
Robert Parker 2014 – 95 Points: “Showing the more savory, dried earth and sandy loam-like characteristics that are the hallmark of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA is the 2014 Pinot Noir Seabiscuit Zotovich Vineyard (aged 15 months in 70% new French oak). It has lots of bright cherry, forest floor, spice and dried flowers to go with a supple, gorgeously polished style on the palate. It still has a kiss of new oak, so give it a year in bottle.”
Paul Lato 2015 Pinot Noir “Suerte” Solomon Hills
Retail 92.00 – GGWC 86.99
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! This 2015 is any bit as good as the 96 point rated 2014 vintage!
Paul Lato Notes: “Solomon Hills is a Grand-Cru-in-the-making site of great character, arguably the most unique in the Santa Maria Valley. The aromatics show gunpowder, black cherry, and strawberry jam notes of deep intensity and generosity. The palate is pure velvet, seamlessly balancing rich, tarry earth tones that cling to the palate with a bright acid lift towards the finish. Striking in both beauty and intelligence.”
Robert Parker 2014 – 96 Points: “From a top site in the Santa Maria Valley that’s just to the southwest of Bien Nacido, the 2014 Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Vineyard Suerte comes mostly from clone 115, but has 25% each from 667 and 777. Aged 15 months in 75% new French oak, it’s another lighter colored beauty that offers upfront, fresh and fruit-driven notes of strawberries, framboise, violets and spring flowers. Elegant, layered, pure and with good acidity and fine tannin, it’s already hard to resist, yet should evolve nicely on its balance.”
Paul Lato 2015 Pinot Noir “Lancelot” Pisoni Vineyard
Retail 105.00 – GGWC 99.99
The “flagship” wine of Paul’s Portfolio! I don’t need to tell you that the Pisoni vineyard is often compared to the best (1er and Grand Cru) vineyards in Burgundy, and Paul puts a real Burgundian twist on this source! This wine equals the best of the previous Lancelot bottlings and could even surpass it! VERY LIMITED!
Paul Lato Notes: “Deep red ruby in the glass, this voluptuous Pinot Noir has a dizzying aromatic profile bursting with lavender, warm asphalt, and salt-cured meats. The palate has great depth in fruit and earth qualities reflective of the one-of-a-kind Pisoni Vineyard. Planted over 30 years ago with what are rumored to be cuttings from one of the finest Grand Cru’s of Burgundy, this singular site continues to amaze in the balance, concentration, and ageability of fruit it delivers.”
Robert Parker 2014 – 96 Points: “Coming from a block that was recently replanted (this cuvee won’t be made after 2015), the 2014 Pinot Noir Lancelot Pisoni Vineyard is always one of the larger framed, mineral-laced wines from Paul. Offering lots of crushed rock and mineral nuances, with a core of red currants, raspberry, smoked earth and charcoal, it leans towards the blacker fruits, is medium to full-bodied, gorgeously textured and has a finish that won’t quit. Like all of Paul’s wines, it’s impeccably balanced. Give it a year and drink bottles through 2026.”
Paul Lato 2015 Pinot Noir “Contender” Drumm Canyon
Retail 94.00 – GGWC 89.99
This might be the best Contender bottling to date! This rendition of the Drumm Canyon Vineyard “Contender” will make you (happily) 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 5 cases of this wine to offer!
Paul Lato Notes: “A highly-perfumed nose of lavender and sweet tobacco alongside lush wild berry notes is beautifully indicative of the Drum Canyon site. The palate is an exotic mélange of hard spice, leather, and bramble fruit, with a surprising and welcome acidity that lends a levity to the muscularity at its core. Like Marlon Brando on the waterfront, it shows that intensity and gracefulness can be a part of the same package.”
Robert Parker 2014 – 95 Points: “Eclipsing the seriously good 2013, the 2014 Pinot Noir The Contender Drum Canyon Vineyard comes from Swan and Calera clones and spent 15 months in 75% new French oak. More structured and tannic (Paul says it’s the Gevrey of the lineup), with a darker edge to its black raspberry, blackberry, underbrush, red plum and spice aromas and flavors, this beauty hits the palate with a big mouth full of fruit, a layered textured and a great finish. Give it a year or two and enjoy through 2026.”
Paul Lato 2015 Pinot Noir “Atticus” John Sebastiano Vineyard, Santa Barbara
Retail 92.00 – GGWC 84.99
This might be one of Paul’s best renditions of this great vineyard. Intensely aromatic, lush fruit, medium to full in body, but extremely well-balanced. Bright red stone fruit on the mid-palate with a hint of spice leading into a long silky finish.
Paul Lato Notes: “Elegant, fruity and pleasing. Refreshing acidity with fresh strawberry fruit and violet aromas. There is serious weight to this powerful wine, yet it remains distinctly balanced with a ripe red fruit component that is grounded”
Robert Parker: “The Paul Lato Pinot Noir Atticus John Sebastiano Vineyard is stunning. Loaded with fruit and a big, voluptuous, textured effort, it has tons of black raspberry, black cherry, violets, leather and baking spices aromas and flavors. These come together beautifully on the palate and it has sensational depth and richness through the mid-palate while always staying lively, elegant and seamless. It’s fruit loaded and exuberant for sure, but also as classy and silky as they come. It’s already hard to resist, but I suspect it will evolve easily for a decade.”
Paul Lato 2015 Pinot Noir “Duende” Gold Coast
Retail 89.00 – GGWC 84.99
This is Burgundy made in California! The Gold Coast Vineyard is almost 30 years old and is not planted on rootstock! Intensely perfumy aromatics jump out of the glass. Medium to full in body, this wine offers gobs of red stone fruit, a touch a underbrush and spice in its medium to full-bodied shell. The wine lingers for a longtime into a gorgeous, lengthy finish.
Paul Lato Notes: “The most individualized vineyard in our portfolio. Over 30 year old vines produce this incredibly perfumed, lightly spiced and silky pinot noir. This wine has Burgundian-like complexity. A favorite of many Master Sommelier’s for its truly expressive qualities”
Robert Parker 2014 vintage 95 Points: “The 2014 Pinot Noir Goldcoast Vineyard Duende is from the Santa Maria Valley and comes from the Martini clone, which was selected by UC Davis from Martini’s Carneros vineyard. It’s the lightest colored in the lineup and it shines for its elegance, nuances and finesse more so than overt power and richness. Notes of strawberries, light spice, sappy flowers and hints of charcoal all flow to a medium-bodied, pretty, silky Pinot Noir that has fine tannin, no hard edges and a great finish. Aged 14 months in 25% new French oak, it should evolve nicely for a decade.”
Paul Lato 2015 Syrah “Cinematique” Larner Vineyard
Retail 95.00 – GGWC 89.99
This is in my book “THE” best Cinematique to-date bar-none! I believe strongly that is equal, to the great 2014, 2012, 2008 and 2007 vintages (97 Point rating). I’d be surprised that this wine will not see very high 90 scores again!
Paul Lato Notes: “In just a few short years, this vineyard has become a holy grail for Rhône varietals in Santa Barbara County, receiving critical acclaim for the quality of the grapes and viticultural practices. Christine Larner and her son, Michael, also a winemaker, are ardent about the continued care and development of their vineyard. The natural beauty of the site with its rolling, sun-splashed hills creates an incredibly peaceful vibe. The Syrah clones of Estrella and 877 planted in this picturesque site produce a rich, intensely flavored wine that retains its elegance.”
Robert Parker 2014 – 97 Points: “More sweetly fruited and perfumed than the Bien Nacido Syrah, the 2014 Syrah Cinematique Larner Vineyard is a gorgeously complex Syrah that offers tons of sweet black cherries, framboise, incense and olive aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, utterly seamless, impeccably balanced and insanely pure, this sensational Syrah needs a decant if drinking anytime soon, and will continue to drink brilliantly for another decade.”
Paul Lato 2015 Syrah “IL Padrino” Bien Nacido
Retail 96.00 – GGWC 93.99
This is 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 5 cases of this gem, so jump on it NOW, as this might be the year of a 100 Point Syrah from Lato! This wine gets 95-98 points every release!
Robert Parker 2014 – 97 Points: “Another sensational vintage for this cuvee, the 2014 Syrah Il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard is slightly deeper colored than the Larner Vineyard and has a more earthy, gamey, savory characteristics in its black currants, damp earth, olive tapenade and sappy flower aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, rich, beautifully concentrated and layered, with good acidity and fine tannin, it needs short term cellaring to come together (the Larner is much more upfront) and will drink beautifully through 2026.”
Paul Lato 2015 Grenache Bien Nacido
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99
Paul Lato’s notes: “This is one of the most historic vineyards in Santa Maria Valley tracing its grape-growing history back to the days of the Spanish land grants. Vineyard Manager Chris Hammell and his dedicated crew continue to take this vineyard to even greater heights. Many of this region’s most acclaimed winemakers have enjoyed great success working with this internationally renowned site.”
Robert Parker 2013 – 95 Points: “A bigger, richer and more concentrated effort than the Larner Grenache, the 2013 Grenache Bien Nacido Vineyard offers lots of cassis and black raspberry fruit to go with underlying notes of wet gravel, shrimp broth, peppery herbs, licorice and pepper. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, elegant and multi-dimensional on the palate, with a weightless mouthfeel, it’s acidity is nicely integrated and it never puts a foot wrong. Given its balance and overall purity, it’s a killer drink today, but it will evolve beautifully.”
Also check out the 2015 MilAnge wines made by Paul Lato:
MilAnge 2015 Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills
MilAnge 2014 Syrah, Santa Barbara
MilAnge 2016 Rose of Pinot Noir, Central Coast
Click here or on the links above to order!