There is a fun little winery in Paso Robles that I recently visited that I wanted to share with you. It is called Le Cuvier – which translates to “The Vat”… referring to the casks that wine is aged in.
There is a great quote on the winery website (lcwine.com) from the man who started it all – John Munch: “There is firm empirical evidence to the effect that yeast and other varied wine pathogens die of boredom unless given an interesting environment within which to practice their art. Thus, at Le Cuvier, we have firmly dedicated ourselves to making life as interesting as possible, while leaving the entire process of winemaking in the hands (so to speak) of the wild beasties. Indeed all human efforts in the effervescent process are evanescent.”
All that to say that John lets the wine do its own thing. They only do wild yeast fermentation. They only use dry-farmed fruit. And every wine spends a minimum of 33 months in neutral oak. What does this mean?
It comes down to what’s in the bottle. And what is in the bottle from Le Cuvier Winery is some very nice, highly consumable wine. But then there are a lot of wineries that make great wine. Why bring all of this attention to this particular winery?
Their tasting room experience was absolutely wonderful. Katie Keene, who is charged with PR, events and sales, greeted us and proceeded to tell us about the winery and the various wines. With each wine we tasted, we got a wonderful food pairing. I didn’t log each of the specific food we received, but here is a sampling of the kinds of food pairing that they do. Their in-house chef Cheryl Keast does an amazing job at creating these items.
2012 Chrysos (Viognier/Roussane White Wine Blend) – Ginger Carrot Soup
2011 Petite Sirah – Sweet Potato Squares with Smoked Sausage and Provencal Sundried Tomato Mustard
NV Pentimento 2015 Bottling (Red Wine Blend) – Beet Butter with Bacon and Bleu Cheese on Petit Toast
2012 Zinfandel – Turkey and Cranberry Rollup with Stuffing Cracker finished with Savory Chicken Gravy
Their recipes are listed on their website – http://www.lcwine.com/red_pairings.
The other part of the experience that was like no other was the descriptions about the wines written by several members of their staff. Here is a sampling:
2012 Chrysos – Pulling into Flagstaff on old Route 66 there was woman, piles of blond curls on top of her head ad skin like out of a Raphael painting, riding a black, full dress hog, black leather gloves with gauntlets and fringe flying, sitting pretty atop her machine in a long sleeved black lace shirt. That’s all you need to know about this wine. Don’t be shy about swirling and smelling her, as you admire her golden color, you will be enchanted, if you just let yourself give in to what she excites in you. Oh, and if you want to know what to pair with her, you might want to try duck rubbed in Earl Grey tea, or an apricot and green almond clafoutis glazed with the best bitter orange marmalade you can find.
2012 Petite Sirah – Blood dripping through your beard as you gnaw the flesh of charred game, a sip of wine, this wine, a solace to the terror raging through your mind. A bite of sweet tomato with the seeds falling to the ground as your brethren ride to their deaths. Black and blue from the war torn days and nights… and you, high atop your throne, want to hear a song…
2012 Zinfandel – One whiff transports you to the chalky, dusty underbelly of a fairground. The nose detects a symphony of popcorn, toffee apples, cooked rice and peppery cured sausage – all of which intermingle with the pre-chewed spearmint gum awaiting careless steppers. Yet there’s elegance amongst the dirt and darkness. A pale white mare is corralled alongside her mousy-colored brethren. The lipstick-red saddle beautifully contrasts with her pale visage. Her haunches are perfectly muscled, but it’s her long neck that indicates unparalleled grace. She’s the picture of refinement. But, be warned, she’s still young… and even the prettiest best has a bite.
So with the charm from Katie, the very tasty appetizers, the fun-to-read wine descriptions, the delicious wine and the beautiful setting, Le Cuvier Winery is definitely a must visit for anyone traveling to Paso Robles. Since they produce less than 3600 cases of wine, you won’t really see their wine in your local grocery store. You can, however, buy it from the winery… or the website.
• Moretti Wines
• Meiomi Wine Story
• Flying Goat Cellars
• Palmina – Wines For All Seasons
• Lompoc Wine Ghetto – Urban Wine Tasting At Its Finest
• Tres Sabores Winery Tasting
• Melville Vineyards & Winery [Part 1]
• Melville Vineyards & Winery [Part 2]