What could be more magnificent than an unobstructed winery view of vineyards while sipping wine at a hilltop tasting room? Such is the case at LAW Estate Wines where detail to the architecture, the beauty of the vineyards, sustainable and organic practices all come together, providing a unique experience and producing exceptional wines from the Adelaida AVA of Paso Robles.
Don and Susie Law have a love for Rhone and Priorat wines and took this passion to the next level. Don is a geologist in the oil business. His acumen in geology was apparent when looking for the ideal site to plant grapes. Boring 42 soil pits in the property, it became apparent that the undulating slopes of this land and its elevation were ideal for their vineyard needs.
The property was purchased in 2007, and in 2008, the vineyards were planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, and Tempranillo. Later plantings include Clairette Blanche, Marsanne, Roussanne, Syrah, and Viognier. Today there are approximately 57 acres of vineyards on the estate. The vineyards are north, west, and south-facing. The location, terroir, and climate affords a Mediterranean profile for growing grapes.
Bar Architects designed the winery building, and its structure takes on a kind of form follows function principle that was popular during the modernist movement in the 20th century. In this case, the winery has a clean more contemporary flair whose function is to enhance one’s view of the vineyards.
I am always fascinated by the meaning behind a given winery label or branding of the wine bottle. Like most wineries, there is a story about LAW labeling.
There is a grid-like triangle on the bottle label. This signifies the architecture of the winery’s tasting room. In my opinion, it also represents a vineyard patch or block, which mixes together in different directions to form the vineyard pattern. Three different fonts are used in the spelling of LAW and symbolize the following. “The Law brand mark reflects the positioning of “Life, Love, Land” by combining three unique letterforms in a sophisticated and graceful way. These varied letterforms allude to the diverse emotions and attitudes expressed in our lives as we celebrate and share each moment with passion and authenticity. Life is represented by the L, Love is represented in the A, and Land is represented by the W. ”
Recently I experienced LAW Estate Wines at an LA Wine Writers luncheon prepared by Café Del Rey Chef David Vilchez. The pairing, especially our third course, the Grilled Octopus with vanilla forbidden rice, blackberry, squid ink yogurt, and black radish, was exceptional and probably the best Octopus dish I have yet to try. The wine that stood out the most at this particular meal was the Grenache.
The Estate Wines:
Many of the wines are named after character traits of people Don and Susie have met along with their adventures producing wine except in the case of The Nines, Prima, Beyond Category, and Fast Tracks. The Nines is named for the vineyard blocks used to produce this wine. Prima is the name of Don’s oil and gas company. Beyond Category is a cycling term that for Law means beyond expectations. Fast Tracks refers to a term in snow skiing.
The Nines 2013: This wine wowed me because it was one of the few California Grenache is most reminiscent of Spanish Garnache. You could really see how Don and Susie’s passion for the Priorat wines comes through. The aromas are those of perfume and violet. This is a lighter-bodied Grenache with flavors of strawberry and licorice.
Sagacious 2013: Sagacious is best described as sage and wise. A blend of Grenache, Mourvédre, and Syrah, this wine is a more serious wine with earthy and dryer qualities. The flavors are blackberry and chocolate.
Prima 2013: Composed of 100% Mourvédre, the wine delivers flavors of blackberries set off by smoky qualities.
First Tracks 2013: This wine is a combination of mostly Petit Verdot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a big rich wine that delivers dark fruit and hints of chocolate.
For Law Estate Wines, the life and love of their land comes through in each bottle of wine. For each of us, we will love what comes through in their wines, and if you have an opportunity to visit the Law winery, one will also love the land by embracing the view that surrounds you.
Note: Photo credit for the featured image above is courtesy Law Estate Wines.