By The Glass
Paso Robles gains acclaim for wines
NAMED for its local oak trees, El Paso de Robles (The Pass of the Oaks), is the largest geographic wine appellation and California's fastest growing wine region. Located along California's central coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Paso Robles encompasses 24 square miles and more than 26,000 vineyard acres.
Wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. of the Wine Advocate declares, "the limestone hillsides west of Paso Robles will someday be as well-known as the glamorous vineyards of Napa Valley." Wine writer Stephen Tanzer of the International Wine Cellar agrees and also lends his kudos to the area.
On Aug. 10, you'll have an opportunity to experience what they're raving about as the Halekulani presents "The Wines of Paso Robles ... Distinct and Different" as part of its "Halekulani Living" Connoisseur series.
THE EVENING seminar features three winemakers offering first-hand info on the sweeping changes in Paso Robles:
Justin and Deborah Baldwin: The owners of the visionary Justin Winery & Vineyards, whom I consider to be the "first family" of this modern wine region, are receiving international accolades. Their 1994 Isosceles received the London International Wine & Spirit Competition's Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande trophy for the Best Blended Red Wine Worldwide. Their 1997 Isosceles was No. 6 in Wine Spectator's Top 100. Taste their Isosceles, classic Cabernet Sauvignon and Justin's newest cuvee, "Savant," at the seminar.
Matt Trevisan: The owner and winemaker of Linne Calodo is one of the famous "Young Turks" of Paso Robles. Trevisan's wines have been hitting Wine Spectators "Outstanding" 90-94 point range, as well as the "Classic" 95-100 point range, from the get-go. He's one of the Rock Stars of the region. Sample the artistry of his award-winning "Problem Child," "Sticks & Stones" and "Leona's Cuvee."
Stephan Asseo: The French owner/winemaker of L'Aventure winery was in search of his own terrior. Asseo's wines, where modern and traditional meet, are climbing the charts with bold flavors and quality. His venture is appropriately named L'Aventure, as it symbolizes his merger of tradition and technology with artisanal methods. The result is a combination of winegrowing and winemaking already receiving acclaim as one of the "Grand Crus of Paso Robles." Experience how Old World meets the New World through his "Optimus," Estate Syrah and the flagship Estate Cuvee.
Stay after the seminar for a reception featuring Paso Robles-influenced cuisine of Halekulani Executive Chef Darryl Fujita.
Cost of the evening is $98. Call 931-5040.
Information courtesy Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.
Kevin Toyama is at sommelier at the Halekulani and an advanced certificate holder from the Court of Master Sommeliers.
This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org