2012LutumLaEncantada2012 Lutum, Pinot Noir, La Encantada Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills.
Gavin Chanin’s new label Lutum compliments his own Chanin Wines and offers a selection of interesting and soil driven Pinot Noirs, most from Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Barbara/Santa Maria counties, all follow the balanced or low alcohol approach and offer in 2012 generous fruit and depth. Having been an assistant winemaker at both Au Bon Climat and Qupe, Gavin has learned Santa Barbara’s lessons well and got to know the regions secrets and soul, these are being bottle under both his own Chanin label and here with the new Lutum wines, the quality and talent really shines through, especially in the latest set of Lutum 2012, and my favorite is the La Encantada, it is gorgeous Pinot Noir, very classy, elegant and full of character. While I was maybe most impressed by his Lutum Bien Nacido, one of the finest Pinots from this vineyard I’ve ever tasted even, the La Encantada for me was the most charming with floral tones, pretty red fruits and an amazing finish, these small production wines are certainly worth checking out and following. The 2012 Lutum La Encantada Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills comes from a very cool climate site grown on sandy soils, it is under 14% alcohol and has lifting acidity, sweet tannins and layers of texture showing bing cherry, strawberry and raspberry fruit along with fennel, violets, rose oil and wild herbs, later as the wine opens there is a plum and blueberry note, plus a hint of toast, earth, mineral, saline, tea and cinnamon/nutmeg. This wine is intriguing and pleasing on the palate, drinking well now, but should gain with a year of bottle age, best from 2015 to 2019, Chanin has done a fantastic job with these Lutum wines, I will be sure to check back in on them over time, you should search them out, no question.
($52 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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