Paul Lato Ora et Labora Bien Nacido Vineyard Grenache 2018
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All destemmed Grenache aged 22 months in 30% new barrels, the 2018 Ora et Labora Bien Nacido Vineyard offers up a juicy bouquet of Bing cherries, black raspberries, sappy herbs, licorice, and ground pepper. Nicely textured, medium to full-bodied, and silky on the palate, with great tannins, drink bottles over the coming 7-8 years.
Passion, quality, and authenticity. These are the guiding principles of our small, artisanal winery dedicated to producing Burgundy and Rhone varietals. Paul Lato is a former sommelier who studied wine extensively and traveled the world before starting his winemaking operation on the Central Coast in 2002. Though their style is inspired by the balance and harmony, they also seek to capture the intensity of flavor that is a hallmark of sun-kissed California vineyards.
Through small-lot boutique production, minimal intervention in the winery, and purity of intention, the team works to achieve elegance in the bottle that showcases the unique qualities of these amazing sites. The ultimate goal is to create wines that are seamless and textural with the structure and balance to complement fine cuisine.
A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.
Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.
Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. While Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha), today it is more recognized as the key player in the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its villages. Somm Secret—The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic, single varietal Grenache (there called Cannonau). California, Washington and Australia have achieved found success with Grenache, both flying solo and in blends.