Having run several wine departments, a question I’m always asked is, Is there an inexpensive Pinot Noir that’s any good? Answer: Yes. Pinot is not an easy grape to work with and it becomes more expensive given its inconsistent growing qualities. However Laetitia has a proved track record with Pinot Noir and has made a solid, comprehensive and affordable Pinot from California’s Central Coast. The 2021 provides notes of strawberry, black cherry, blackberry, red raspberry, along with mild tannins, good acidity and a hint of vanilla spice.
This is a blend of 35% Zinfandel, 26% Mourvedre, 19% Tempranillo, 11% Syrah, and 9% Petite Sirah. Purple in color with some ruby hues. Opaque and dark. The nose is nice with black cherries, plums, cherries, char and spice. Full bodied. Light tannins. Good balance. On the palate, this is drinking at peak and delicious. Complex and deep. Notes of black cherries, cherries, and plums with underlying asphalt/gravel. Long finish. Drink over the next five to ten years. Great on its own, this will need big food. Ribs off the grill would be a good match.
This is a blend of 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Syrah, 19% Tannat, and 4% Grenache. Inky purple in color, opaque and bright. The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, blueberries, spice and slight black cherries. Full bodied. Medium tannins. Good acidity. On the palate, this is delicious. Tight but deep. Blueberries, raspberries, with some cedar and spice. Long finish. This is a big wine but it is deft as well. Drink over the next twelve to fifteen years. This is great on its own and will need big food to stand up to it. A nice match would be spicy Indian foods.
Inky purple in color, opaque and bright. This is a blend of 43% Grenache, 43% Syrah and 14% Mataro. It comes in at 15.6% abv, but it is not noticeable on the wine. Inky purple in color, opaque and bright. There is a bit of volatile acidity on the nose but it was not bothersome. Lots of black cherry fruit with black raspberries and white pepper. Strong acidity. On the palate, black cherries, and some black raspberries. Complex and deep. Long finish. This is drinking well now and should continue for another ten to fifteen years. Great on its own, this would be nice with ribs off th
This is a blend of 56% Grenache, 13% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah, 9% Mataro, 7% Zinfandel and 5% Tempranillo. The bottle lists 15.7% abv but it is not noticeable on the wine. Inky purple in color, opaque and bright. The nose is great with black cherries, black raspberries, gravel, and black pepper. Great backbone of acidity. On the palate, though young, this is showing a nice complexity. Medium tannins. Black cherries and black raspberries with underlying char and gravel. Long finish. Delicious. This may still improve a bit but is drinking great now and should continue for another twe
2013 Saxum Cuvée Rocket Block James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek District, Wine Review
This is 100% Grenache made only in selected vintages. The bottle lists 16.4% abv but there is no heat. Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright. The nose is explosive with black raspberries, black cherries, char and slight gun powder notes. Full bodied. Light tannins. Great texture. On the palate, this is deep and complex. Black raspberries, roasted herbs and slight black cherries. Long finish. Delicious. This is still drinking youthfully and should drink well for another ten to fifteen years. Great on its own, this would work nicely with roasted fowl.
This is a blend of 55% Grenache, 24% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah, and 8% Counoise. No doubt in a few years this merits a 100 score. Right now, it is very young, and although amazing, it needs time to come together. Inky purple in color, mostly opaque and bright. The nose has black raspberries, black cherries, black pepper, and floral notes. Full bodied. This wine is a bruiser! Medium tannins. Great balance. On the palate, gobs of black raspberries, black cherries with some black pepper and nice underlying minerality. Long finish. No harm drinking now but another five years of cellaring
It had been a while since I tasted this. At age 17, it is still youthful and vibrant! This bottle had been purchased from a Napa retailer relatively recently. A blend of 71% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre, and 10% Grenache. Inky purple in color, starting to show just a hint of browning at the rim. The nose has black raspberries, bacon fat, white pepper, with roasted meats and herbs. Great texture; soft but explicit if that makes sense. Light on its feet. On the palate, black raspberries, black pepper, slight salinity, and crushed rock. Long finish. Complex and delicious. This is drinking
Comprised of an intelligent collection of different clones including Martini, Dijon and Pommard, this beautifully showcases this winery off Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo County. Originally known for their sparkling wines, Laetitia is also quite adept at still wines. Earthy and savory, this reserve opens up with lithe notes of black cherry, plum, pomegranate, Bing cherry and back notes of mushroom, cedar, tea leaf and plantain.
2018 Tablas Creek Esprit Blanc de Tablas, USA, California, Paso Robles, Adelaida District, Wine Review
This is a blend of 66% Roussanne, 21% Grenache Blanc, 8% Picpoul Blanc, 3% Picardin and 2% Clairette Blanche. Light golden in color, clear and bright. The nose has pears, peaches, some minerality and spice. Full bodied. On the palate, pears and peaches with good acidity. A roundness of the wine makes it very accessible. Long finish. Still youthful, there is plenty of depth and complexity. White Rhone varietals are notoriously difficult to guess an ageing curve, but this should easily have a decade left. It worked quite well with a Caprese Salad and also Guacamole.