New Release – 2011 Santa Barbara Winery Primitivo

Joughin Vineyard 2011 Primitivo

2011-primitivo-b+cs-web Andy Joughin, our Vineyard Manager for many years, was looking for interesting grapes to plant in his small home vineyard in the Los Olivos area of the Santa Ynez Valley. Varieties that would have a niche value and not compete with the more common ones. Andy consulted winemaker Bruce McGuire who recommended several Italian red varietals.

One of these was Primitivo, the primary grape of the Puglia region of Italy. Los Olivos, in the central area of the Santa Ynez Valley, has a climate similar to that of Puglia.

The vineyard is small, less than 10 acres, and each variety is three acres or less. Since Andy’s retirement Lafond Vineyards has been managing the vineyard. The small lots, that these grapes produce, are part of our program of offering special bottlings, of limited distibution, of interesting and unusual wines.

Recent DNA analysis has shown that Primitivo and California’s Zinfandel are genenetically similar. Zinfandel was, until this discovery, a grape of mystery, and its origins unknown. Primitivo or Zinfandel, the Joughin Vineyard has produced exceptional wines year after year.

Winemaker’s comments: 2011 was a small concentrated vintage due to poor fruit set in the spring. This is the 11th crop from the Joughin Vineyard, as vines become more mature the level of concentation and depth increases.
Retail: 28.00
To Order: www.sbwinery.com

Porsche Club Meeting Saturday November 16th

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New Release Lafond Winery Syrah/Grenache

2010-lv-syrah-grenache-glass-webAfter three decades of wine growing in the Santa Rita Hills of the western Santa Ynez Valley, Pierre Lafond and winemaker Bruce McGuire are still experimenting with unconventional grape varieties in our cool climate growing region.

The knowledge gained since the first planting of six varieties in 1972 (one of the early vineyards in Santa Barbara County) has led to a focused approach in which varietals are sought out according to Bruce’s hypothesis on a grape’s potential to exhibit unique character when grown in our area.

This pioneering has paid off with great success such as the introduction of Syrah to the Santa Rita Hills. Grenache has the same potential as Syrah to show off spicy character expressed in a different way than the white pepper spice found in our cool climate Syrah.

The 2.25 acre planting has paid off in a distinctly bright Grenache exhibiting a hint of black pepper with cinnamon spice and dark red fruit flavors with a whisper of menthol. Three separate Syrah lots showcase the overt cool climate Syrah character.

Winemaker’s comments: 2010 was an excellent year for both Syrah and Grenache. A very cool summer with heat at the end of September. Cool climate spice with fully ripe flavors. A synergistic blend which highlights the best of each varietal.

Suggested Retail Price: 38.00

To Order: www.lafondwinery.com

New Release 2012 Lafond Winery SRH Riesling

srh-riesling-2012-bottle-glass-webRising in the middle of the western Santa Ynez Valley, the Santa Rita Hills are the distinguishing feature of our AVA, home of Lafond Vineyard and a wonderful area to grow Riesling.

The long, very cool growing season of this area is exemplified by February bud break and September harvest, a long period for vine physiology that creates wines of intense concentration and balanced acidity.

Riesling’s allure over that of other white wine is the necessary precision and attention to detail that goes into making this wonderfully versatille noble grape maintain its racy acidity and interestingly complex flavor profile.

In Alsace and Austria Riesling is traditionally made into a very dry wine. Winemaker Bruce McGuire has experimented over the years with different levels of sweetness, measured by residual sugar, from dry to late harvest style.

Lafond Vineyard is home to about 15 acres of Riesling. This dry Santa Rita Hills designated bottling comes from an old block which gives the wine great depth and concentration.

Winemaker’s comments: 68% from 38 year old vines. These lend structure and density while the young vines provide aromatic brightness.

Suggested Retail Price: 20.00
To Order: www.lafondwinery.com

The Vineyard in November

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Extended Macerarion

2013-harvest-32Winemaker Bruce McGuire is punching down and stirring one of our many macrobins. They hold 1 ton of grapes, regular picking bins 1/2 ton.

Bruce uses extended maceration, which is keeping the fermented wine with its skins for several weeks and sometimes months, until a balance has been reached between evolving tannins and phenols. A determination made by sampling. The bins must be stirred twice a day to maximize contact with skins and sediments all of which increases the complexity of flavors in the wine.

Depending on the outcome, some will be bottled as stand alone wines and others will be used as components in larger blends.

Fascinating?

A Slideshow of the 2013 Harvest

Rain

This has been a picture book harvest. Yields were good , quality high and the weather was moderate with few highs or lows and now that we are done we have rain.

And it is good that we have rain. We left a small block of Riesling hoping that sugars would increase and we could produce a Late Harvest Riesling.

Rain might facilitate that most elusive of growths Botrytis Cinerea, Noble Rot or ‘Pourriture Noble’, found in the Sauterne of France, Tokaj Hungary and Schloss Johanisberg on the Rhine.

10.29.13-botrytis-rieslingThere is no guarantee, the magin between plain rot and Botrytis is very slim. We can hope.

The image, of Botrityzed Riesling, came from Wikipedia

End of October – Leaves Changing

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Last Day of 2013 Harvest

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New Release Lafond Winery 2012 SRH Chardonnay

10.23.13-2012-srh-chardonnay-bottle-glass-corkscrew-webThe Santa Rita Hills is a small appellation at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that has gained national recognition for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Valley runs west to east, opening a gap in the coastal range, allowing the late afternoon ocean fog to roll in where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley.

The fog cools the vines from the day’s summer heat and it is this combination of warm days and cool nights that gives the wine its complexity as well as providing acidity to give it structure.

Winemaker’s comments: Our new blocks of Chardonnay are now in production. We now have four additional clones along with our original Wente clone, which was first planted over 25 years ago.

The new clones in, addition to adding to the complexity of the wine, introduce subtle flavors which add to its enjoyment and underline the remarkable qualities of the Santa Rita Hills ‘terroir’.

Suggested Retail Price: 23.00
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To Order: www.lafondwinery.com

Cleaning…

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Open House – Lafond Winery – Sat./Sun. Oct. 12-13

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Saturday, October 12 – Open House

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2013-harvest-26This morning we crushed a little under 8 tons of Syrah. This is our first Syrah and will be doing Syrah all next week. They tried to get done before noon so as not to get in the way of our Open House visitors – more on that later.

The images show the picking bins full of grapes that have been stemmed and crushed. Next they stir up the bins and then proceed to load the fermenting tanks. The real work is cleaning up.

Filling Barrels

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First Rainy Day of Fall

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New Release Lafond Winery 2010 Pommard Clone Pinot Noir

10.08.13-2010-pinot-noir-pommard-b-g-cs-webThe Santa Rita Hills is a small appellation at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that has gained national recognition for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Valley runs west to east, opening a gap in the coastal range, allowing the late afternoon ocean fog to roll in where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley.

The fog cools the vines from the day’s summer heat and it is this combination of warm days and cool nights that gives the wine its complexity as well as providing acidity to give it structure.

Winemaker’s comments: Pommard is an old clone that has been in California for many years. It consistently produces superior wines that have both flavor and intensity.

Suggested Retail: 50.00 750ml
To Order: www.lafondwinery.com

New Release Santa Barbara Winery 2010 Sangiovese

2010-sangiovese-g-csThe Stolpman Vineyard is located in Ballard Canyon about 9.5 miles east of our Lafond Vineyard.

The warmer climate in Ballard Canyon is nicely suited for Sangiovese, historically the primary grape of the Chianti region of Italy.

Known for its dense cherry fruit, Sangiovese’s popularity has been on the increase as winemakers around the world discover the structure and full-bodied nature of the wine along with its affinity for blending with other varietals.

Winemaker Bruce McGuire continues to be pleased with this newer block of Sangiovese; 2010 is the ninth harvest from this section.

Walking the tight rope between the true Tuscan style and a New World flare, Bruce strives to maintain the structure of the acclaimed Chiantis from the Montalcino and Montepulciano regions.

Winemaker’s comments: i first worked with Stolpman Sangiovese in 1997. I was blown away by the intensity of the fruit from the then young vines. It has only gotten better with age.

A very cool summer with a heat spell in September gives the wine a cool climate structure with the flavors from a ripe fruit.

Sangiovese

Today we processed Sangiovese from the Stolpman Vineyard. Sangiovese has a thicker skin than Pinot Noir and in the de-stemming the grapes are not crushed – they come out and stack like marbles. Some will be broken during fermentation, releasing juice, but many will not and the fermentation will occur within the grape.

The wine will not be pressed when fermentation is completed, but will be held for several weeks, juice and skins in contact, until the winemaker determines that the balance he is looking for is reached. The resulting wine is very complex and requires more time in barrel and bottle before release. We are just releasing the 2010 vintage under the Santa Barbara Winery label.
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Santa Barbara Winery, Wine Club Members’ Wine Pick-up Saturday, September 28, 2013

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