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Lucienne Smith Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
  • WE92
  • WS91
14.5% ABV
  • V92
  • WE94
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • RP90
  • WE93
  • WS92
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine shows fragrant strawberry and blackberry aromas with earthy cocoa undertones. Silky and richly textured, this wine's palate impression is balanced by a high-note of acidity recalling tart plums. Harmonious red and black fruit flavors come together with earthy spice notes on this wine's long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
A heady swirl of aromas ranging from earthy red iron to hard cinnamon candy and violet flowers emerge in this wine sourced from the historic Smith Vineyard. The flavors, which arrive on a silky palate, start with dark chocolate, root beer extract and lots of geologic influence before hitting raspberry fruit.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
A graceful, charming effort that's rich and complex in flavor, with a core of currant, raspberry and smoky, toasty oak. Gains focus and persistence on the finish, where the flavors weave together amid firm tannins. Drink now through 2023.
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Lucienne

Lucienne

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Lucienne, Central Coast, California
Video of winery
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.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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. 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 Villages or Cru level wines.

OPI89659_2012 Item# 140349