We just returned from the L&L Wine Cruise to Alaska. It was a real breath of fresh air, in more ways than one. Our club members are something special, and Andy, Anjie, and Jill did a great job in keeping us somewhat under control! Although we never saw the sun in seven days, the sun shined on each of us the whole trip.
We are right in the middle of growing the 2012 grapes. The crop is taking shape and looks promising. We are starting to prepare for harvest mode. It’s that time again.
2009 Chardonnay: Chardonnay today is primarily split into two camps - with or without oak. Our 2009 Santa Barbara County is without oak. It seems that the use of oak, especially a lot of oak, has turned some wine consumers off yet they still look to enjoy Chardonnay. As a result, non-oaked Chardonnay has become very popular. Stainless steel gives emphasis to the grape and its flavors, and these styles of Chardonnay can be enjoyed with many more foods. I would put our 2009 in our “best yet” category.
2010 Chenin Blanc: Our Chenin Blanc has not changed at all. We continue to produce it in the style of Vouvray, France, with a touch of residual sugar to balance the acid and improve flavors. The Tasting Panel Magazine scored this 2010 Chenin Blanc at 91 a few months back. We recently grafted two acres of old vines to Chenin Blanc. Anyone who has had an opportunity to taste this wine comes away with a new respect for the variety.
2009 Malbec: The American wine consumer has welcomed Malbec with open arms. It’s too bad that most of it comes from Argentina, but it is Argentina who is responsible for its popularity. This wine has been warmly received in our tasting room and by anyone who has had the chance to try it. As our vines improve, so will our Malbec. Our 2009 is a traditional Malbec with good color, soft tannins, and an easy drinkability. I personally would like to see it a little bolder, which you should see in our next vintages. This one well represents the variety.
For those of you who haven’t, you should try to make our Vineyard Tour. You’ll be able to see the grapes just prior to harvest, giving you a perspective that most people don’t have an opportunity to enjoy.
We at Lucas & Lewellen hope you all are having an enjoyable summer.