The curving drive through the woods on Peachy Canyon Drive only heightens the anticipation of arriving at the gates that provide entry to Law Estate Wines and the experience it and the winery staff provide.
But it wasn’t always this way.
Our first taste of Law Estate was when they were pouring their first vintage at the Ojai Wine Festival in 2013. At that time, Michael wrote: “…speaking of Law Estate (www.lawestatewines.com), their wines really stole the show for me at this event, especially their GSM blend. A new player in Paso Robles, they haven’t even released their wines to the public yet. This is one you might want to get on board with early.”
To give credit where credit is due, it was Karen who had told Michael to be sure to taste the Law wines, especially that GSM blend named Sagacious.
Our next visit to Law was while the winery was still under construction. Sitting with General Manager Oliver Esparham, who we had met at the Ojai festival, we continued to be awed at the quality of the wines produced by such a young winery. Of course, Law’s geologist owners did their homework with site selection for their vineyards [all Law’s wines are Estate designated], a state of the art winery, as well as one of the best winemakers around – Scott Hawley of Torrin.
But those are old stories and visiting Law now is about tasting outstanding wines in a beautiful luxurious setting, whether on the outdoor patio with the gorgeous views or the spacious indoor tasting lounge. Though, all would be for naught were the hosts of your tasting not the best you might encounter anywhere, which they are at Law. Their hospitality is what elevates the tasting into the perfect experience that it is.
During our tasting, we had the great pleasure of meeting with Marketing Manager Jessica Locklin and were also joined by GM Oliver. Scott Hawley has moved on to focus 100% on his own label and former Assistant Winemaker Phillipp Pfunder now has full control of the winemaking process. The wines, if anything, are more delicious than ever.
We started with the 2019 Soph, a white blend of 47% Roussanne, 28% Clairette Blanche and 25% Marsanne with a really bright floral nose. Named after the Laws’ granddaughter [Oliver’s daughter], this is always one of our favorite white wines of the year. We were delighted that there was still some available to purchase as we had just run out at home.
Moving on to the red blends of mostly Rhone varietals, these are as usual stunning and virtually impossible to pick a favorite. Karen has always been especially partial to the one called Sagacious, as mentioned above [Oliver somehow still remembers this].
We tasted through the following reds:
2018 Beguiling – 85% Grenache, 15% Syrah
2018 Sagacious – 35% Grenache, 34% Syrah, 31% Mourvedre
2018 Audacious – 31% Grenache, 26% Carignan, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Syrah
2018 Aspire – 84% Syrah, 16% Grenache
One of the several great things about the Law tasting experience is that the taster is presented with the entire flight at once, with ample opportunity to go back and forth between wines to compare the various flavors. And Jessica, like everyone else at Law, was ever-present to graciously answer questions and provide additional information.
As we were tasting back and forth through the flight, Jessica asked if we had any preferences. Michael’s “I dunno, they’re all so good” was followed by Karen’s “You haven’t tried the Aspire yet.” Even though Karen loved the nice long finish and big mouthfeel of her usual favorite Sagacious and the dark ripe blackberry notes of the Audacious, she was spot on with the Aspire’s fruit forwardness and violet bouquet. Upon tasting it, Michael immediately agreed with an insightful “damn”.
Much as it is difficult to pick a favorite amongst Law’s wine selection, it is also hard to pick a favorite winery in Paso Robles. There are too many wineries in the area that we love for us to be able to say that there is a #1. But, you would be hard-pressed to find a better winery experience, wines, and people than Law Estate Wines. And now the addition of a guest cottage makes an extended stay possible. Plans are also in the works for an education center. With all that, you may never want to leave the property on your next visit.
LAW ESTATE WINES
3885 Peachy Canyon Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Michael and Karen Perlis have been pursuing their passion for wine for more than 30 years. They have had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show them the way and after a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as they possibly could, they had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Michael and Karen do their best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers.