The “Wow” Wines of Le Cuvier Winery, Paso Robles, CA


Carmen Micheli

Editor’s Note:  Guest Wine Chix Carmen Micheli is back with a tasty review of the April 2012 Womens Wine Council.

Seldom does a wine come along that can achieve a “wow” to all the senses.  We were given this lovely opportunity during the April Woman’s Wine Council to review  6 such wines from Le Cuvier Winery in Paso Robles, CA : Multi-Vintage Rosé, Ultra Reserve Chardonnay XL (Blend of 2005 & 2006), 2007 Sangiovese  (Blend), 2008 Syrah,  and 2008 Zinfandel.   But how to choose a favorite???  Never have I been equally amazed. And, apparently, I am not the only one!  After all, the winery is completely sold out of all of these extravagant wines.

The blush color of the Multi-Vintage Rosé was pure spring romance and I was in love.   Seductive aromas of roses, guava, and raspberries lure the nose, while the flavors of luscious sweet papaya and strawberries round out this delightful Rosé.   It was perfect paired with Mushroom Gruyere on mini-toasts garnished with Mango Chutney, compliments of Wine Council member Laura Plant.

Le Cuvier Winery Line-Up

The Ultra Reserve Chardonnay XL 2005/2006 Blend gleamed with a color of pure liquid gold, when swirled.  Jasmine blossoms, bitter orange, and oak gave this wine a pleasantly fresh, woodsy smell, and the taste of ripe mango and caramel cream were divine.  A Curry Spiced Hummus recommended by the winery chef and made by Womens Wine Council (WWC)  member Debbie Wiens made this wine even more sublime.  This combo would be perfect as a nice light starter on a warm summer evening .

And our winner of the evening….the 2008 Zinfandel.  Blackberry and garnet were the color of this admirably beautiful Zinfandel and I found myself almost entranced as it danced beneath my eyes in the glass.  Vibrant aromas of cherry wood and plum lead into notes of smoke, spice, cocoa and black cherry on the palate.  When paired with the Savory Bacon & Spice Dark Chocolate Brownies created by the winery chef…. heaven on earth!!   You can find the recipe below.

All 6 of these Le Cuvier Wines astonished me.  I was left wondering how winemaker John Munch achieved such art.  These wines were all made in small lot cases- about 250 or less, and are all sold out at the winery.  Most of the wines (except Syrah and Zin) can be purchased at Tastes of the alley in Pismo Beach  where approximately 650 wines are available by the glass.   If you get the opportunity……try Paso Robles Le Cuvier Wines, you won’t be disappointed!

Savory Bacon & Spice Dark Chocolate Brownies
Slightly altered from “Chocolate” by Nick Malgieri
Compliments of Le Cuvier Winery

Pair with Le Cuvier 2008 Zinfandel

Savory Bacon & Spice Dark Chocolate Brownies

2 cubes butter (1 cup)
8 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. chipotle/New Mexico chili powder/cayenne
¾ to 1 c. cooked & finely chopped bacon
1 cup flour
cream cheese softened (optional)
coarsely ground sea salt


Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter stirring occasionally. Once the chocolate mixture is incorporated, let the chocolate cool slightly.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl, then blend in the salt, sugars, vanilla, and spices. Stir in chocolate mixture, then bacon, and then flour.

Pour batter into a parchment lined 13x9x2 pan and spread evenly. Beat ½ block cream cheese in a mixer/processor. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small round tip. Pipe straight lines about ½ inch apart across the top of batter. To create marbled effect, draw a butter knife across the piped lines in a perpendicular fashion. Grind sea salt over the top of the batter.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until top has formed a shiny crust and batter is moderately firm. *Toothpick test does not apply…In order to achieve the fudge-like consistency they must be undercooked. Cool in pan on rack. Then lift parchment with brownie out of pan, place brownie in parchment on a cooling rack and place in refrigerator. When firm enough to handle, cut in half and carefully remove from parchment. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate with something flat on top to serve as a weight. To serve, slice into neat squares with a large pizza cutter and allow to come back to room temperature.

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