Le Vigne Winery Kiara Sylvester Vineyards Private Reserve Merlot 2005
Le Vigne Winery is family-owned and located in the heart of the Estrella District AVA on the Eastside of Paso Robles. The Filippini family history began in the early 1960’s when Sylvia Filippini parents purchased the ranch from country music legend “Buck Owens”. In 1981 the first set of vines were planted and today Le Vigne has fifteen different varietals planted on its three estate vineyards. The 125 acres under vine have planting of well-known varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as well as unique varietals of Corvina and Tannat. Le Vigne first started producing wine in 1989 and in 1995 built a state-of-the-art winery that has been upgraded over the years.
Walter Filippini spent his younger years at his parents’ home in the lakeside town of Como, Italy and spent many summers working with his grandparents on their vineyards in Valtellina. As Walter grew, he developed as passion for cooking and the kitchen – an important facet of Italian life. By the age of 15 Walter entered the Culinary Institute in San Pellegrino, Italy. Spending summers working at the famed Excelsior Palace Hotel in Venice and Grand Albergo Villa d’Este in Como allowed Walters’ talent in the kitchen to excel and in 1981 won Italy’s National Chef Competition for a delectable display of pheasant pate.
Le Vigne winemaker is Terry Culton, one of Paso Robles top winemakers with an extensive resume in winemaking; working with some of West Coast's top wineries in California and Oregon. Terry has a broad range of winemaking prowess with multiple grape varieties. He has a proven track record of making sought after wines with consistent 90+ ratings from every major publication and has been called a “Top Flight” winemaker by notable writer Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.