Los Angeles is home base for many wine writers and bloggers, including Cori Solomon, who, about 3 years ago, gathered these writers to form LA Wine Writers. An informal group of very knowledgable wine and spirits writers, they meet once a month for lunch, inviting a winery to attend and present their wines and their story. Typically 3 or 4 wines are paired with 3 or 4 delicious lunch courses, expertly prepared by Executive Chef David Vilchez of the Cafe Del Rey in Marina del Rey.
To start off their 2018 calendar of tasting events, the LA Wine Writers invited the Downtown Paso Robles Wineries to make a presentation at their January luncheon. Carol Hoyt, owner/winemaker of Hoyt Family Vineyards (Malibu/Paso Robles) represented the group at the luncheon, tasting the writers through 15 wines from 10 of our wineries. With so many wines to try, the very accommodating restaurant general manager, Brian Cousins, departed from the usual luncheon format to better experience the wines paired with different dishes.
The group tried their first wine as they gathered in the bar area, enjoying a luscious 2016 Rosé of 50% Grenache/50% Tempranillo from Bushong Vintage Company. Moving into the dining room, guests were able to have their first look at the array of wines to be tasted, while enjoying the magnificent view of the marina through a floor to ceiling wall of windows. Once seated the attentive wait staff set out on the table bowls of freshly made hummus with vegetables and pita bread with which were tried the first of three white wines, a 2016 Torrontes from Symbiosis Wines. A lot of oohing and ahhhing could be heard as everyone agreed this was a fuller, more luscious expression of the varietal than wines from its native Argentina.
With a buffet of spanakopita, cod, roasted vegetables and quinoa, the group went on to taste a viognier from Frolicking Frog Cellars and a 2015 Chardonnay from the Malibu Estate of Hoyt Family Vineyards. Also enjoyed with these dishes were four reds - a 2014 Pinot Noir from Asuncion Ridge, "Power Corruption & Lies" - 2014 - a blend of grenache/syrah/petite sirah from Bushong, a 2008 Tempranillo from Symbiosis and a Cabernet Franc from Frolicking Frog Cellars.
Moving deeper into the reds, the next course of Mediterranean Pasta and lamb meatballs with a hearty
tomato sauce, two flights of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon were poured. Flight #1 included the Anglim 2013 Syrah (Guy James Vineyard-Willow Creek District) and the D'Anbino Cellars 2012 Pine Hawk Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. Flight #2 included a Gary Kramer Guitar Cellars 2014 Syrah (Estrella District) and a Pianetta 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Monterey).
The tasting concluded with the last of the reds, LXV's 2015 Crimson Jewel (Sangiovese/Petit Verdot) and Hoyt Family Vineyards' 2013 Petite Sirah, and a lovely sparkling wine from Hoyt, "Hoyt 2 Hoyt".
During the luncheon, Carol kept the group engaged with explanations of the various AVA's within the larger Paso Robles AVA, the types of events the Downtown Wineries hold during the year, the diversity of varietals used in wine production by the wineries, the unique aspects of each tasting room and the multitude of tasting, dining and shopping experiences there are to be had in the historic downtown area of Paso Robles.
We wish to extend our sincere gratitude to Cori, Brian, Chef David and the LA Wine Writers for hosting such a lovely afternoon and giving us the opportunity to acquaint them with our amazing group of wineries.
Please view the complete photo album from this event on our Facebook page.