• WS: 87

    Wine Spectator Score

    87

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Edna Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Winemaker's Notes:

About This Wine: Racy. Crisp. Mouthwatering. A whole slew of wonderful adjectives can be used to describe this wine. Tropical flavors framed with a bit of gooseberry and grass. Layers of subtle fruit flavors that extend vertically. The finish is lengthy...really lengthy.<br/><br/> This is the first wine that I’ve produced in my 20 years of winemaking that I actually bring home to drink. You know, you’ve had your stuff a thousand times before bottling... you kind of get sick of it. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me. But the subtle nuances supported with the power of a sledgehammer just intrigues the hell out of me. I find something new to like about this wine each time I taste it.<br/><br/> The fruit comes from the Edna Valley, a special appellation of San Luis Obispo county at the southern end near the ocean that is just fabulous for cooler climate varietals. Acids tend to be big and pH’s tend to be low - two components necessary for super food pairing AND longevity in the bottle. Given these two considerations plus the fact that these grapes are packed with intense flavors, I was able to apply my favorite white winemaking protocol in both tank and barrel fermenting this wine using old neutral oak barrels. The secondary fermentation was inhibited allowing me to maintain the sharp focus of this wine. Sur-lies aging contributed greatly to mouthfeel. The resulting wine is a Sauvignon Blanc on steroids. Enjoy!<br/><br/> <em>Adam</em><br/><br/> Philosophy: We often think of Pinot Noir as conforming to one of two distinct styles: Burgundian or Californian. So what defines either? I think I understand what people are referencing when the conversation comes up, but I don't think that a delineation of these two "styles" is that easy to define, nor is universally applied. Generally speaking, when someone tells me a Pinot is Californian in style, I immediately understand without so much as a confirming taste that what they are saying, is that the wine is oaky, rich, and “clean” – cherry/strawberry notes without the more interesting complexities that whole cluster fermentation and reductive winemaking contribute to the aromatic and flavor profile. I hope that was as diplomatic a definition. I wouldn’t want to be on record as saying “stinky”.<br/><br/> In contrast, when someone tells me a wine is Burgundian, I usually take it to mean that the wine possesses aromas that are reductive, stemmy, or generally unusual and the flavors can only be described as austere. To me, that is untrue, disingenuous, and even insulting to the wines that actually originate in Burgundy. The fact is, only wines that come from Burgundy can be described as “Burgundian”. The terroir is so unique and the growing conditions so inimitable as to be almost completely irreproducible anywhere else in the world…save Oregon in certain years. Outside of that, Pinot Noir must and should be only known as Pinot Noir, without any other defining adjective outside of the descriptors that define the wine in question. Then all will be right in the world and I can get back to my favorite past time: bitching about the over-planting and subsequent over-production of Merlot. Oh, and drinking tequila. Yep. Don’t want to forget that. I love tequila.<br/><br/> How lucky to have made Pinot Noir in 2007. It is by all accounts the best vintage EVER for the variety on the Central Coast, maybe all of California. I can tell you with 100% certainty that the LaZarre wines of 2007 are by far the best I’ve ever made. Just remarkable. Intense. Deep. Structured. Complex. Complete. It is a blend of Sierra Madre Vineyards from the Santa Maria Valley and a famous San Luis Obispo County Pinot Vineyard that I can’t name because of contractual obligations. Nothing is simple with me. <em>Sorry.</em><br/><br/> About The Winery: I started LaZarre Wine Company in 2003 as a means to produce unique, small quantity releases of wines I find fascinating, particularly (but not limited to) Pinot Noirs and Pinot Blancs. As a successful veteran winemaker working for some of the most exclusive wineries on the Central Coast I get to work with some of the most remarkable vineyards in California but often have no vehicle that I can use to showcase their wines as they are normally just components in a bigger blend. LaZarre Wines gives me just such a vehicle, often producing vineyard designated or sub-appellation specific wines. Almost all are small lot and hand crafted with minimalist “winemaker intervention”. Just crush, ferment, and jam into the barrel. The strength of the wine lies in the vineyard - as it should be.<br/><br/> About Adam Lazarre - Winemaker Adam LaZarre is also the man behind outstanding wines here at Villa San-Juliette Winery. Making the transition from Hahn Estates Winery in Monterey where he has been the head winemaker for the past 8 years, Adam has an impressive list of accomplishments under his belt. He has lead the nation in gold medal hauls three out of the last five years as well as Best-of-Show awards. In addition, he has been honored by the Sacramento Bee as Winemaker of the Year in 2005, and was named one of the Top Five Winemakers in 2006 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Adam first fell in love with California wine while serving in the US Navy. At some point, his passion for the liquid became so consuming, that he enrolled in the Enology program at Fresno State University immediately upon receiving his honorable discharge. While in the department, he fell in love with the Central Coast wine growing region and chose to make it his home upon graduation. Although he has produced wines from virtually every major appellatin in California over the course of his two decade career, he truly enjoys above all else the challenges and rewards that Paso Robles wine making has to offer. While walking through the vineyards after first meeting with Ken and Nigel, it became apparent to him that Villa San-Juliette should be his new home. All of us here are excited to have Adam in charge of the team.<br/><br/> Technical Analysis: <strong>Winemaker:</strong> Adam LaZarre<br/><br/> <strong>Appellation:</strong> Edna Valley<br/><br/> <strong>Varietal:</strong> 100% Sauvignon Blanc<br/><br/> <strong>Cases Produced:</strong> 365<br/><br/> <strong>Alcohol:</strong> 14.1%<br/><br/> <strong>pH:</strong> 3.14<br/><br/> <strong>TA:</strong> 0.75<br/><br/> <strong>Cooperage:</strong> 100% Stainless Steel Tank<br/><br/> <strong>Bottling date:</strong> September 14, 2010<br/><br/>

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Edna Valley Vineyard:
Just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, Edna Valley Vineyard has one of the longest and coolest growing seasons in California. Its location in one of the state's few east/west-oriented valleys allows nighttime coastal fog to move inland, cooling the grapes after a long day in the sunlight, so that they slowly mature while retaining sufficient acidity. The vineyard's unique site consists of laye... Read more
Just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, Edna Valley Vineyard has one of the longest and coolest growing seasons in California. Its location in one of the state's few east/west-oriented valleys allows nighttime coastal fog to move inland, cooling the grapes after a long day in the sunlight, so that they slowly mature while retaining sufficient acidity. The vineyard's unique site consists of layers of clay and volcanic rock over ancient ocean subsoil. We are a partnership between Paragon Vineyard Company, which is owned by the Niven family, and Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines. The Niven's planted Paragon, our estate vineyard, in the early 1970s and the Chalone Wine Group joined with the family to establish a partnership as Edna Valley Vineyard in 1980.Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines purchased the Chalone Wine Group in 2005. Read less

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About This Wine: Racy. Crisp. Mouthwatering. A whole slew of wonderful adjectives can be used to describe this wine. Tropical flavors framed with a bit of gooseberry and grass. Layers of subtle fruit flavors that extend vertically. The finish is lengthy...really lengthy.<br/><br/> This is the first wine that I’ve produced in my 20 years of winemaking that I actually bring home to drink. You know, you’ve had your stuff a thousand times before bottling... you kind of get sick of it. I don’t know, maybe that’s just me. But the subtle nuances supported with the power of a sledgehammer just intrigues the hell out of me. I find something new to like about this wine each time I taste it.<br/><br/> The fruit comes from the Edna Valley, a special appellation of San Luis Obispo county at the southern end near the ocean that is just fabulous for cooler climate varietals. Acids tend to be big and pH’s tend to be low - two components necessary for super food pairing AND longevity in the bottle. Given these two considerations plus the fact that these grapes are packed with intense flavors, I was able to apply my favorite white winemaking protocol in both tank and barrel fermenting this wine using old neutral oak barrels. The secondary fermentation was inhibited allowing me to maintain the sharp focus of this wine. Sur-lies aging contributed greatly to mouthfeel. The resulting wine is a Sauvignon Blanc on steroids. Enjoy!<br/><br/> <em>Adam</em><br/><br/> Philosophy: We often think of Pinot Noir as conforming to one of two distinct styles: Burgundian or Californian. So what defines either? I think I understand what people are referencing when the conversation comes up, but I don't think that a delineation of these two "styles" is that easy to define, nor is universally applied. Generally speaking, when someone tells me a Pinot is Californian in style, I immediately understand without so much as a confirming taste that what they are saying, is that the wine is oaky, rich, and “clean” – cherry/strawberry notes without the more interesting complexities that whole cluster fermentation and reductive winemaking contribute to the aromatic and flavor profile. I hope that was as diplomatic a definition. I wouldn’t want to be on record as saying “stinky”.<br/><br/> In contrast, when someone tells me a wine is Burgundian, I usually take it to mean that the wine possesses aromas that are reductive, stemmy, or generally unusual and the flavors can only be described as austere. To me, that is untrue, disingenuous, and even insulting to the wines that actually originate in Burgundy. The fact is, only wines that come from Burgundy can be described as “Burgundian”. The terroir is so unique and the growing conditions so inimitable as to be almost completely irreproducible anywhere else in the world…save Oregon in certain years. Outside of that, Pinot Noir must and should be only known as Pinot Noir, without any other defining adjective outside of the descriptors that define the wine in question. Then all will be right in the world and I can get back to my favorite past time: bitching about the over-planting and subsequent over-production of Merlot. Oh, and drinking tequila. Yep. Don’t want to forget that. I love tequila.<br/><br/> How lucky to have made Pinot Noir in 2007. It is by all accounts the best vintage EVER for the variety on the Central Coast, maybe all of California. I can tell you with 100% certainty that the LaZarre wines of 2007 are by far the best I’ve ever made. Just remarkable. Intense. Deep. Structured. Complex. Complete. It is a blend of Sierra Madre Vineyards from the Santa Maria Valley and a famous San Luis Obispo County Pinot Vineyard that I can’t name because of contractual obligations. Nothing is simple with me. <em>Sorry.</em><br/><br/> About The Winery: I started LaZarre Wine Company in 2003 as a means to produce unique, small quantity releases of wines I find fascinating, particularly (but not limited to) Pinot Noirs and Pinot Blancs. As a successful veteran winemaker working for some of the most exclusive wineries on the Central Coast I get to work with some of the most remarkable vineyards in California but often have no vehicle that I can use to showcase their wines as they are normally just components in a bigger blend. LaZarre Wines gives me just such a vehicle, often producing vineyard designated or sub-appellation specific wines. Almost all are small lot and hand crafted with minimalist “winemaker intervention”. Just crush, ferment, and jam into the barrel. The strength of the wine lies in the vineyard - as it should be.<br/><br/> About Adam Lazarre - Winemaker Adam LaZarre is also the man behind outstanding wines here at Villa San-Juliette Winery. Making the transition from Hahn Estates Winery in Monterey where he has been the head winemaker for the past 8 years, Adam has an impressive list of accomplishments under his belt. He has lead the nation in gold medal hauls three out of the last five years as well as Best-of-Show awards. In addition, he has been honored by the Sacramento Bee as Winemaker of the Year in 2005, and was named one of the Top Five Winemakers in 2006 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Adam first fell in love with California wine while serving in the US Navy. At some point, his passion for the liquid became so consuming, that he enrolled in the Enology program at Fresno State University immediately upon receiving his honorable discharge. While in the department, he fell in love with the Central Coast wine growing region and chose to make it his home upon graduation. Although he has produced wines from virtually every major appellatin in California over the course of his two decade career, he truly enjoys above all else the challenges and rewards that Paso Robles wine making has to offer. While walking through the vineyards after first meeting with Ken and Nigel, it became apparent to him that Villa San-Juliette should be his new home. All of us here are excited to have Adam in charge of the team.<br/><br/> Technical Analysis: <strong>Winemaker:</strong> Adam LaZarre<br/><br/> <strong>Appellation:</strong> Edna Valley<br/><br/> <strong>Varietal:</strong> 100% Sauvignon Blanc<br/><br/> <strong>Cases Produced:</strong> 365<br/><br/> <strong>Alcohol:</strong> 14.1%<br/><br/> <strong>pH:</strong> 3.14<br/><br/> <strong>TA:</strong> 0.75<br/><br/> <strong>Cooperage:</strong> 100% Stainless Steel Tank<br/><br/> <strong>Bottling date:</strong> September 14, 2010<br/><br/>

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