Lazarre Pinot Noir 2005
From the label: “Damn! I knew I was in trouble. The big cat’s face appeared through the mist. With a rush, it leaped straight for me, only to fall helplessly a few feet away. I rolled it onto its back and noticed the purple stain around its mouth. The cat let out a stunning belch. “Jesus!” The smell of wine and Dik-Dik washed over my face. “This guy is obviously drunk”, I thought to myself, “no sober creature would ever pair Pinot Noir with Antelope!” With the Hahn Estates’ revitalization program in high gear, winemaker Adam LaZarre was perfectly positioned to take advantage of the best of Monterey when he joined the winery in 2001. Adam was introduced to California wines while in the U.S. Navy, stationed at the Naval base in Alameda, California. Repeated trips to Napa reinforced his passion for wine and launched a dream that would shape his future. After completion of six years of service in the Navy, he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a winemaker and enrolled and graduated from California State University, Fresno. During his studies, Adam discovered and fell in love with the wines of the Central Coast. Since graduating from Fresno, Adam has mostly concentrated his efforts on winemaking in this bountiful region, working at Elliston Vineyards, Jekel and Riverland vineyards before joining the team at Hahn Estates / Smith & Hook.
The Wine Spies Say: Mission Codename: The Lap of Luxury Operative: Agent Pinot Personal Objective: Enjoy a day off at the Bernardus Lodge, taste their wines Mission Status: Accomplished Current Winery: Bernardus Wine Subject: 2002 Marinus Winemaker: Dean de Korth and Matthew Shea Agent Pinot Private Journal: Other Agents think I’m self-centered and narcissistic. They can think what they want. I just happen to be the best agent in the Wine Spies and that’s that. When I decide its time for a vacation, I take one but tell Central Command that I’m on a mission. Its easy to fake it when my vacation takes me to the Bernardus Lodge in the beautiful Carmel Valley in Monterey County, California. Bernardus runs this luxurious lodge, but they are, perhaps, more famous for their award-winning wines. Bernardus Winery makes exquisite estate grown wines from grapes grown on their estate in Upper Carmel Valley. Their founding mission was to create wines that rivaled the finest French Bordeaux, wines that “flatter the palate and stimulate the imagination”. Mission accomplished! My first taste of Bernardus Marinus (pronounced mah-ree-nus) came a few years ago. I immediately fell in love with its complexity and its full flavors. When considering a spot for my secret getaway, my choice was easy: Stay at the Bernardus Lodge, realx and drink Marinus. Lot’s and lot’s of it. On arrival at the Bernardus Lodge, I entered through the front gate. Following the drive toward the lodge, perfect vineyards slope gently away. The main building of the lodge looming into view, I feel instantly relaxed. I know that my stay here will be filled with luxury, great food and better wine. I won’t drone on and on about the feather bed, the fireplace or the oversized bathtub in my two-room suite, my daily massages, games of tennis near the vineyards or the fine meals had in their 4-star restaurant, Marinus. Suffice to say, after long days of being pampered and evenings spent sipping their incredible wines, I am revitalized. The 2002 Marinus is a masterpiece and while I was there, I did manage to get my hands on a few cases. Central Command should be pleased with me. Agent Pinot Personal Tasting Profile: Look – Dark plum with ruby highlights Smell – Blueberry, blackberry and cherry dominate the nose, with hints of sweet oak and plum Feel – Big in the mouth, with great complexity and tannins that excite and invite without drying Taste – Deliciously ripe dark-fruit flavored, with jammy black cherry, blackberry, oak and the slightest hint of spice Finish – Big finish with strong and long-lasting flavors that taper off slowly Conclusion – This is a great, elegant and luxurious wine that drinks like a $75 bottle. I love this wine very much and I have cellared several bottles for myself. I enjoy it as a drink-by-itself luxury or as a perfect complement to a fabulous meal with friends and family. Agent Pinot Satellite Recon: Technical Wine Analysis Alcohol: 13.5% Appellation: Carmel Valley, Monterey County, California Winemakers: Dean de Korth and Matthew Shea Grapes: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon 28% Merlot 3% Cabernet Franc 3% Petit Verdot 1% Malbec