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Lucienne Lone Oak Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
  • WE94
  • V93
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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  • WE94
  • RP90
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WE92
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  • WE92
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 146-acre certified sustainable Lone Oak Vineyard sits at the northern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands where it is cooled by ocean breezes from the Monterey Bay. Morning fog lingers here while the wind picks up in the afternoon, leading to a long, cool growing season that allows grapes to slowly develop flavor and concentration. With gentle, east-facing slopes and elevations between 180 and 500 feet, the vineyard’s ancient alluvial soils assure excellent drainage. Just 20 acres of Lone Oak are devoted to Pinot Noir, creating an intensely aromatic wine with notes of citrus, cherry pie, toast, spice and a hint of earthiness. The complexity continues on the palate, with sleek cherry flavors, youthful balance, a round, soft texture and a long, structured finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
A stunner on the nose, this lavish and supple wine shows complex aromas of red and purple flowers, mulberry, fig and gingerbread. Firm tannins and just enough acidity frame the palate, which is loaded with full flavors of red plum, coffee, clove and cola.
V 93
Vinous
Light bright ruby. Highly perfumed, smoke-accented aromas of blackberry, boysenberry and cherry cola are complemented by hints of potpourri and vanilla. Seamless and fleshy in the mouth, offering sweet dark berry, bitter cherry, candied rose and vanilla flavors and a suggestion of spicecake. Expands steadily on the impressively long, smoky finish, which features harmonious tannins and resonating florality.
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Lucienne
Lucienne, California
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Owned by Nicolaus Lucien Hahn, the winery is a separate facility tucked into the Hahn Estates winery, actually a winery within a winery. As the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation has become one of the most prestigious Pinot Noir growing regions in California, Lucienne has resolved to focus top vineyard practices, expert winemaking, and the highest quality equipment to produce Pinot from the exceptional estate vineyards of Lone Oak and Doctor’s Vineyard.

The inaugural release was the 2005 vintage which includes a Santa Lucia Highlands appellation and a Lone Oak single vineyard designation. The Lucienne Pinot Noir grapes were hand selected from very small and special blocks of the Doctor's and Lone Oak Vineyards. We wanted Lucienne to express a "sense of place" and we feel that these two wines are a perfect "marriage" of Pinot Noir styles with one more masculine and full-bodied and another more silky and elegant in nature.

Winemaker Paul Clifton crafts the Lucienne wines utilizing his passion for Pinot Noir and cool climate viticulture. The two wines—a Santa Lucia Highlands appellation and Lone Oak single vineyard designation—are produced in small quantities with the first vintage coming from 2005. The wines are focused and elegant with a silky mouthfeel and pure velvety Pinot Noir flavors.

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Santa Lucia Highlands

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Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.

The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.

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Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

NDF45941_2016 Item# 508255