Grapelive: Pisoni’s Lucia Vineyards Spring Release Reviews
By Kerry Winslow
2010 Lucy Rose (Lucia Vineyards by Pisoni) Santa Lucia Highlands.
This new vintage of Lucy, a Rose of Pinot Noir, is as everything with Pisoni, larger than life, with Bandol Rose meets Premier Cru Burgundy character! This certainly has to be one of the best California Vin Gris wines and a great Spring wine, with fresh watermelon, red peach, citrus leading the way before true Pinot Noir flavors come rushing forward with pure cherry and tangy plum filling the palate. The finish lingers, but there is plenty of spice and clean acidity to give a crisp and vibrant end. This Lucy has vivid color and lively rose petal notes to add excitement to go along with all the fun.
($18 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive
2009 Lucia Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands.
Jeff Pisoni has nailed it again with some of his dad’s oldest vines to create a world class Chardonnay that can rival the best from anywhere! The 2009 Lucia Chard is rich, full and wonderfully balanced with vigor and fruit intensity showing pure pear, apple, white peach and lemon curd, while there is spice cake, clove, fig and hazelnut in the background. This Chard should gain lots in character with some bottle age and while it is rich and full bodied it has nice bounce and clean acidity. I hope it picks up a bit more mineral and brioche notes, as that is all that would be need to merit an even higher rating! This wine is hard not to love and competes well with $75 to $100 Chards, be they from Burgundy or the Sonoma Coast, bravo guys this is awesome.
($40 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive
2009 Lucia Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands.
This cuvee of selected barrels and vineyards is one of the great values in highend Pinot, with fruit coming from block at Pisoni and Garys’, both of which continue to be two of the best sites for Pinot Noir in the state. The 2009 gives the best of both Cru vineyards with loads of dark fruit, smoke, creme de cassis and minerally spice. The structure is firm with balancing tannin and acidity that holds the rich fruit in check, but still allows for a silky mouth feel. There is blackberry, cherry, plum and blueberry layers with hints of violets and a kiss of vanilla from the French oak. This outstanding wine should age well for 5-7 years, getting more complex and interesting as time goes by, though it will be tough to resist in its youth.
($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive
2009 Lucia Pinot Noir “Garys’ Vineyard” Santa Lucia Highlands.
I would like very much to see this wine in a blind tasting in 4 or 5 years time against Grand Cru Burgundy, Kistler, Beaux Freres and even the Pisoni Estate, as I think this wine would not only hold up, but I think it might just eclipse them if not take the honors. This is the real deal and all involved should be proud of this wine, Jeff Pisoni, winemaker, Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni vineyard partners and Mark Pisoni who helps keep it all together, no question these guys and nature have blessed this vintage and this Pinot! The 2009 Lucia Garys’ is powerful and brooding with tight layers of black and blue fruits and firm tannins, both backed up by racy acidity. The nose is still shy, but shows violets and other floral notes, smoky toast, truffle and coffee bean leading to a deep palate of blueberry, plum, black cherry and currants. Complex earth, spice, mineral and wild lavender vie for attention in the background along with a hint of game. Give this baby some time in the cellar, and if you can’t wait, decant it for a good long while, allowing it to open up and show all of its pleasures.
($50 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive