This wine is slightly lighter in color than previous vintages but no less concentrated or complex. Longoria's dedication to maintaining the high level quality of Fe Ciega Pinot Noir required them to go through numerous blending trials to determine the best possible blend from the four lots they had to work with. As a result, a substantial portion of their Dijon 115 lot was "declassified", and thus became the majority of their Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir released in November 2006.
This 2005 vintage of Fe Ciega Pinot Noir has complex aromas of Asian spices, sandalwood, sage, plums and black walnuts. On the palate the wine is medium bodied, and initially seems subdued and restrained. However, as the wine breathes in the glass it begins to open up and with each sip the wine expands a little more in the mouth to reveal the complex flavors and layers that has become the hallmark of Fe Ciega Pinot Noir. The wine is beautifully balanced in terms of oak integration, acidity and silky tannins.
Enjoy this wine with salmon, duck, and holiday turkey.
"You'd never guess the power from the pale color. A multi-clone blend, it impresses from the first sniff, all pureed ripe cherries and strawberries, leading to a dramatically fruited, fresh, pure and vibrant mouth feel. Should hold and improve for a decade." -Wine Enthusiast
Richard Longoria Wines, established in 1982, is a family operated wine business owned by Rick and Diana Longoria. Rick Longoria, who arrived on the local wine scene in 1976, enjoys a long history of involvement in the Santa Barbara county wine industry. In 1976, he became the first cellar foreman for The Firestone Vineyard. By 1982, he felt confident in his skills and in the quality of some of the county's best vineyards to venture into the wine business for himself, and produced 500 cases of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Santa Maria valley vineyards.
In 1985, The Gainey Vineyard lured Rick away from J. Carey Cellars to produce wines for their ambitious and exciting new winery project. During his twelve years as winemaker, Rick's winemaking skills established Gainey as one of the top quality wineries in the area. He also continued to produce very small quantities of Longoria wines, just enough to keep the label active.
In December, 1997, twenty-three years after his first job at a winery and fifteen years after starting his own business, Rick gave up steady employment to devote his full energies to his winery business. On May 1, 1998, Rick and Diana opened the doors to their own tasting room in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Los Olivos. In December 1999, Rick moved his winery operation into his own 5,400 sq. foot building in Lompoc.
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The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.