Ian Adamo of Bistro Laurent Drops Knowledge

Knowledge - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Liquid Knowledge


Monday evening we were treated to the immeasurable privelege of a wine tasting and education session with the famed (or infamous depending on perspective) Ian Adamo of Bistro Laurent.  Ian has achieved various wine service and education certifications (including WSET and Somm); he is now in the process of studying for and finishing his Master of Wine Certificate (think Jancis Robinson, but a dude, and not British).   Beyond managing the wine list and shop at Bistro, Ian has begun offering his knowledge and experience to assist local wineries in educating their staff and coming up with a comprehensive plan to present the wines and wineries of Paso Robles to consumers in an engaging and memorable way.

The idea behind our tasting was to compare Halter Ranch wines with various offerings from around the globe in a process of reductive reasoning.  By reductive, we mean breaking the wines down by what they are not in terms of variety, place, and quality.  A few pointers we received from Mr. Adamo at the outset:  Your nose and eyes will tell you far more about a wine than your palate will.   The ‘why’ in regard to a wine is far more interesting and engaging than an individual point score, adjective, or even group of adjectives can possibly be.  After visually and aromatically analyzing each offering, we tasted through and broke down quality to price ratio using a system Ian refers to as BLIC (Balance, Length, Intensity, Complexity).  This offers an objective map for determining a wine’s quality outside of personal taste.  For example, I might personally delight in Nebbiolo, and be less interested in Pinotage, but focusing on those four characteristics may create a conceptual map by which to assess a wine without involving personal preference.

My personal favorite among the group of wines we tried (outside the Halter offerings of course ‘ ) is pictured above.  This complex and delicious white is composed of 100% Viognier from Condrieu in the Northern Rhone region of France.  It presented full body and fairly low acid while remaining delicate in comparison to most of the Viognier I’ve tried in the past.  Tasted against the Condrieu, 2012 Cotes de Paso Blanc displayed distinct acidity, bright fruit, and notable length.  Both wines would perform well in the four BLIC categories, but it is interesting to note that the Condrieu goes for about $90 a bottle, while CDPB retails for $28.

Expect coverage of additional tastings as they happen.  Our next article here on the blog will cover new developments in the cellar as we prepare for harvest 2013.  In the meantime cheers and thanks for reading!





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