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Latest Pinot Noirs from Lost Canyon

Lost Canyon Winery was recently acquired by Fritz Winery which is located in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. Pinot Noir and Syrah wines under the Lost Canyon label will continue to be produced at the Fritz Winery facility. The sale was purely a business decision, partner Bob Riskin told me, who lamented that none of the three partner’s children were interested in the wine business. Under the leadership of Randy Keyworth, Jack States and Bob Riskin, Lost Canyon grew from a personal hobby to a sustainable commercial business worthy of a loyal following and many accolades.

Clayton Fritz and his winemaker Brad Longton fell in love with Lost Canyon wines and have committed to retaining their unique style, sourcing the same Russian River Valley vineyards and cooperages. Clayton Fritz and his parents before him, Jay and Barbara, built Fritz Winery over the last thirty years into a prominent wine producer and are enthusiastic about adding Lost Canyon to their portfolio.

The 2007 lineup of Lost Canyon Pinot Noirs are stellar and I believe are the best ever from this producer. All of them are well-crafted and nicely balanced and preference for any one will be predicated on personal taste.

2007 Lost Canyon Morrelli Lane Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., <475 cases. · An intriguing nose with scents of crushed berries, cranberries, dried herbs, dark chocolate, oak char and cigar box. Delicious hi-tone and intense flavors of raspberries, cherries and cassis with a slight roasted edge. The flavors veer toward overripeness but never cross the line. Beautifully balanced and pleasingly smooth in texture.

2007 Lost Canyon Widdoes Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., <125 cases, $42. · A subdued but lovely nose featuring Bing cherry, red currant, raisin, Asian spice and gingerbread. Lip-smacking cherry and raspberry fruit, fully ripe, clean and juicy. Nicely composed with admirable acidity, and a persistent finish redolent of sweet oak.

2007 Lost Canyon Las Brisas Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., <275 cases. · Earthy cherry, black raspberry, black currant and plum fruits with a touch of smoke, anise and char. A somewhat brooding wine with a velvety texture and a dry finish. The best Las Brisas bottling ever from this producer.

2007 Lost Canyon Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., <850 cases. · When you stick your nose in this one, you get a sensual jolt of spiced cherry and cola. The lightly weighted cherry fruit is surrounded by ripe tannins. The most high-strung and tannic wine in the lineup but quite charming.

Lost Canyon wines will be available at the Fritz Winery tasting room in Cloverdale and San Francisco, but the Lost Canyon winery and guest center in Oakland has closed. Due to the changeover in ownership, I do not have current retail prices. Visit the website at www.fritzwinery.com.

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