From the Ground Up
After beautiful December rains, we had a winter drought in January and February, but our forecast for the middle of March looks good. We should be finished pruning by then - one of the more important jobs that we do.
Last month’s Valentine Winemaker Dinner at the Alisal was a heartfelt event! The Alisal River Grill put together a terrific meal of Roasted Beet Salad with Pickled Cauliflower and Caper Raisin Brown Butter Dressing, Sweet Potato Hoecake with Preserved Lemon and Caviar, Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Sherry Cream (served with the Pinot in your Wine Club release), and Kobe Short Rib with Crispy Leeks. Watch your email for an invitation to taste more from this great chef paired to great wines during an Alisal golf getaway in late September.
We just returned from our second trip to Wickenburg. The experience exceeded all expectations and has the makings of a new Lucas & Lewellen annual tradition. The highlight of the event was the people who attended. We proved that, like in the vineyard, togetherness works. Some of us had a chance to play cowboy and we got to see an exceptional equine sale with some beautiful horses. The highlight wine of the trip was one that I snuck in the back door, the Five+One that we released to you in January.
2018 Chardonnay, Goodchild Vineyard: Chardonnay comes in many styles and it seems that we have been working on the Goodchild Chardonnay for a very long time. This one is getting close to perfection with a little oak and a little butter. The grapes are from the Goodchild Ranch which gives us more acid and flavor and a wine that is somewhat crisp and with longevity. The Santa Maria cool weather is a good overriding factor with this wine. Do not serve it too cold but not room temperature either.
2016 Malbec: The most overlooked grape not grown in California, Malbec is the hidden asset of our Hidden Asset wine. In the vineyard, this variety needs time to hang to get full ripeness. A good yielder, it blends nicely with other Bordeaux grapes. It has great color and is full-bodied with some ripeness in the finish. Hold this one in the mouth for a while to savor the flavors and mouthfeel. It will enhance anything cooked on the barbecue pit. This Malbec puts the Argentinians to shame.
2017 Pinot Noir, SBC: This wine earned a 90 point score with an “Editor’s Choice” distinction in the November 2019 printing of Wine Enthusiast. This is your $50 Pinot that we mark at half the price. On our recent trip to Rancho de los Caballeros, it was one of the overwhelming favorites. A blend of multiple clones grown partly in Los Alamos and partly in Santa Maria, it was aged in neutral oak. Rich with flavors of ripe cherry, this vintage shows maturity and a great finish. Enjoy this wine on its own or with savory hors d’oeuvres.
Spring is just around the corner. I expect the buds on the vines to be opening soon. This year’s Santa Barbara Vintners’ Festival will be held in May on the grounds of Rancho Sisquoc Winery. We will bring Lucas & Lewellen and Toccata wines to share and invite you all back to the Tasting Rooms afterwards for Wine & Cheese Pairings with live music. Keep your umbrella handy!