Los Angeles, CA (Spiritsman)3/24/13/—La Stella Winery is a small boutique winery at Osoyoos in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, but they have formed a rather unique relationship with the iconic Los Angeles Chef Celestino Drago. The winery people came down to Los Angeles to Drago Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles for a private dinner at the Italian restaurant, and Celestino and his team came up with a six course wine pairing dinner. Celestino is a supporter of the winery, and the limited edition wines are available in his restaurant, including their flagship wine, the 2007 LaStella Maestoso “Solo” Merlot which was paired with the Rack of Lamb.
Low rainfall and high summer temperatures in the Okanagan Valley allows them to farm in a sustainable way in their 50 acre parcel of land. The soil composition is very distinct in the area which is known as Olivers Golden Mile and Black Sage Bench, and La Stella practices what is known as low input viticulture. That means deficit irrigation producing very low yields that helps concentrate the flavors and complexities of the fruit.
Winemaker is Severine Pinte, who was unfortunately not available for the Los Angeles visit, and she has been with the winery since August 2010. She is a graduate of ENSAM (Ecole National Superior Agronomic of Montpelier) where she acquired a Master of Viticulture and Oenology.
There are six wines including the aforementioned Maestoso Merlot which came out of the 2008 growing season which was unusually cool but with a perfect September/October. The wine has a balanced level of acidity and a lot of maturity and is a must find. On the other hand, the Maestoso 2009 Merlot experienced a very warm season and is more exotic tasting with a hint of blue fruit, smoked meat and café mocha.
The 2008 Fortissimo Selezione Di Famiglia consists of almost equal parts of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, along with 8% each of Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. Celestino paired this wine with fettuccine, oxtail ragout and gorgonzola crème followed by mushroom agnollotti in a truffle sauce. The wine came across as a Tuscan style wine, typically loud and boisterous.
The Leggiero 2011 Unoaked Chardonnay was paired with assorted hors d’oeuvres and has a nice crisp acidity and a fruity drinkable taste with hints of apple, melon and lemon rind. The La Stella Vivace Pinot Grigio was paired with the smoked sturgeon and caviar.
However the wine did not match the food, and was rather a dull wine that needed to be a lot bolder, despite the press handout boasting intense Asian pear and citrus notes.
This is a small boutique winery that produces no more than 10,000 cases a year. You may need to a bit of detective work to track them down, but it will be well worth the effort.
La Stella Winery, Osoyoos, British Columbia
525 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071 •
Tel: 213.228.8998 | Fax: 213.228.0028
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Dinner: Monday – Saturday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Now Open Sundays! 5:00pm – 9:00pm
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211