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Vineyard: Laetitia

AppellationArroyo Grande Valley
VarietiesPinot Noir

Reviewed wines produced from this vineyard

NV Laetitia Arroyo Grande Brut Cuvèe Sparkling Wine

12.5% alc., pH 3.1, TA 0.82, $22. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc grapes. Whole-cluster pressed and tank fermented using Champagne yeast. Crafted in Méthode Champenoise tradition. 24 months en tirage. · Pale gold color in the glass with a fine bead. Bright aromas of apples, pears, honey, roasted nuts and vanilla. The flavors follow in step with a crisp, tightly wound offering of green apple, Asian pear, and lemony wafer goodness. Bone dry and lively, displaying a bright nerve of acidity. Very Good. Reviewed September 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Laetitia Estate Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $25. The Laetitia Estate Vineyard is a coastal terrace 3 miles from the ocean. Soils are rocky clay loam with a volcanic ocean floor parent material. A blend of 10 clones including 113, 115, 459, 667, 777, “828,” Pommard 5, 2A, Martini 13 and Mt. Eden. Aged in 30% new and 70% neutral French oak barrels for 11 months. Estate grown, produced and bottled. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, plum, boysenberry, white pepper and spice box lead to a light weight core of fruit mimicking the aromas, with hints of spice, mocha and smoky oak. Mild tannins and very approachable, finishing on a light, fruity note. Score: 87. Reviewed December 18, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Laetitia Estate Arroyo Grande Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.663, $18. Dijon clones 96 & 97, Wente 17 and 4. Whole-cluster pressed and 100% MLF. Aged 9 months in 25% new and 75% neutral French oak barrels. · Very light straw color in the glass. Shy aromas of baked apple lead to medium-weight delicate flavors of Asian pears, lemon and green apple. Restrained in character but satisfying. Nicely avoids prominent oak and oak-derived flavors so common in California Chardonnay today. A solid pick. Good (+). Reviewed September 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Laetitia Estate Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.76, TA 0.615, 18,000 cases, $25. Released January 12, 2012. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, quick fermentation, aged 11 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very aromatic upon opening, offering clean scents of black cherries and black raspberries with hints of dark chocolate, bark and prune. The flavors veer to the overripe side but never cross the line, offering tasty notes of plump dark cherries and berries with a savory mushroom and earth undertone. Silky smooth on the palate with modest length on the bright finish. The longer the wine was in the glass, the better I liked it. An excellent value with wide availability and one of the more consistently reliable Pinot Noir bottlings in the marketplace. Good (+). Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Laetitia Reserve du Domaine Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., ph 3.77, TA 0.623, 1,200 cases, $40. Released January 12, 2012. Composed of the most concentrated estate fruit that is given more hang time on the vine and a lengthier time in oak. The wine is a blend of 60% of the same consistent vineyard blocks while the remaining 40% are special lots that stand out with the vintage. Clones are 115, 667, 459, Pommard 5, Wädenswil, and Martini 13. Aged 11 months in 40% new and 60% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose picks up intensity and romance over time in the glass revealing very enticing aromas of perfectly ripe blackberries, clay and forest floor. Delicious, rich core of black cherry and blackberry fruits with a riff of cherry cola on the generous, very slightly hot finish which has noticeable length. The tannins are rather reserved making for good drinking now. Very good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $24, glass closure. Sourced from seven vineyards in San Luis Obispo, San Benito, Santa Clara and Monterey counties (33% Latetitia Vineyard). Native yeast fermentation, aged 11 months in 10% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherry glaze, dark red berry jam and black olives. A gentle, lighterstyled wine with bright cherry fruit on the modest mid palate attack, finishing with notes of cherry skins, oak, herbs and sandalwood. Well-mannered tannins for easy drinking, but enough structure to match up with hearty fall foods. Good (+). Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Laetitia Estate Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.592, $25. Multiple clones including 113, 115, 459, 667, 777, 828, Pommard 5, 2A, Martini 13 and Mt Eden. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, quick fermentation. Aged 11 months in 30% new and 70% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of spiced berries, black cherries, cassis and prune, persisting in the glass over time.The palate is all Pinot with riper flavored fruits featured including dark red raspberries and cherries, embellished with a hint of Asian spice, and clothed in soft tannins. Smooth in the mouth with an underlying nerve of acidity that brightens the fruit. This bottling is a consistent performer with good value. Very Good. Reviewed September 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Laetitia Clone 828 Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $32. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Opens slowly in the glass, revealing aromas of black cherries, black raspberries, prune, spice and oak. Soft and smooth on the palate, with moderately rich flavors of dark red cherries and berries with a topcoat of toasty oak. Nicely balanced with firm, but well-integrated tannins. Good. Reviewed November 7, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Laetitia Single Vineyard La Colline Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.43, TA 0.62, 220 cases, $60. Released September 12, 2012. Sourced from original estate plantings. Only made in exceptional vintages. The name, La Colline, means “the hillside” in French. 4-day cold soak, whole berry fermented in small open top fermenters with the addition of RC212 yeast. Gently pressed after 6 days of fermentation and racked into 30% new French oak barrels for an aging period of 11 months. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very accessible aromas of baked plum, berry pie glaze, musk and oak. Delicious middleweight melange of blue and black fruits, most noticeably raspberries. Very polished and refined on the palate with impeccable balance (no oak or tannin in sight). A slight underlying minerality adds interest. Pleasing persistence and length. A very regal wine that is approachable now, but will benefit from further bottle age. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Laetitia Single Vineyard La Coupelle Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.57, 290 cases, $60. Released September 12, 2012. La Coupelle means “the cup” in French. From a protected block located below Les Galets that receives maximum sunlight and is shielded from the cool winds of the Pacific Ocean. Soils are diablo clay and volcanic rock. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. A bit shy, but does offer delicate aromas of dark Bing cherries, raspberries and mushrooms on the grill. Dense, robust flavors of dark berries that exhibit a mouthfilling presence. Notes of cola and dark chocolate arrive as well. Juicy, with firm tannins and modest length on the finish which is a little hot. Good (+). Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Laetitia Single Vineyard Les Galets Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.55, 276 cases, $60. Released September 12, 2012. Les Galets means “the stones” in French. From low-yielding blocks picked from early to mid October. 65% Dijon clone 115, 35% Wädenswil clone 2A. 4-day cold soak, whole berry fermented in open top fermenters with the addition of RC212 yeast. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Deeply colored, earth-kissed fruits are featured in this wine which is discreetly concentrated and long in the mouth, with refined, svelte tannins and a vivid, lengthy finish featuring spiced black plums. The fruit has character and noteworthy class. This wine is approachable but still youthful. Very good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $24, glass closure. Grapes sourced from Monterey County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Clara County and San Benito County (50% from Scheid and Laetitia vineyards). 50% whole cluster, native yeast fermentation, aged in 10% new French oak barrels for 11 months without racking. · Moderate dark red color in the glass. Aromas of black cherries, brier, oak and pipe smoke. A brooding wine with little uplifting qualities, offering flavors of sweet black cherries, black raspberries and plums, finishing with a tarry, herbal, earthy presence. More dirt and oak than fruit and pretty ordinary. Decent. Reviewed November 29, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Verve Laetitia Vineyard Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.65, 294 cases, $33. Clones 3A, 667 and Martini. Fermented in one Rousseau 2-ton French oak open-top fermenter. 3- day cold soak, with an extended post-fermentation maceration of 30 days. · The fruit in this wine veers to the ripe side but is hard to resist. Moderately intense aromas of black cherries and cassis with a subtle hint of toasty oak. Discreetly concentrated array of dark red berries and cherries with a little cherry cola, mocha and sweet oak highlights. A very elegant wine with a seductive texture. Very good. Reviewed January 27, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Five Rivers Central Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $13. The winery's name, "Five Rivers," comes from the five major rivers that define the essence of the Central Coast of California: San Benito, Salinas, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez and Sisquoc rivers. This label is a member of the Brown-Forman lineup of wines. Winemaker Steve Peck chooses grapes from several Central Coast vineyards including Bien Nacido, Premier Coast Vineyards, Laetitia and Zabala. Winemaking is traditional for Pinot Noir, with aging in 20% new French oak for one year. Clones include Pommard 4 and 5, Dijon (several), and 2A. · Aromas are sweet with Jolly Rancher cherry and floral notes leading to a bounty of dark berries, sandalwood and earth flavors. A medium-bodied wine with a soft texture and a clean finish. Great with fresh gazpacho. A very drinkable Pinot Noir that is true to the varietal. Reviewed September 5, 2006 WINERY »

2005 Casa Barranca Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 125 cases. Aged in 30% new French oak. · Black cherries are the feature here in the aromas and on the palate. Spice, sandalwood and red berries add interest. Delicately styled and easy to drink. Reviewed September 11, 2006 WINERY »

2005 Casa Barranca Wines Laetitia Vineyards Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

125 cases, $25. A relative new producer located in Ojai which I have featured in past issues of the PinotFile. Casa Barranca wines are available on the website at www.casabarranca.com. The winery is not open for tasting. · This Pinot is one spicy dude. Bing cherries, nutmeg and cinnamon are featured throughout. The finish offers lively acidity and the whole package is very drinkable. Crafted with 30% new oak, the tannins are very soft. Understated, but really true to the varietal and a suitable dinner companion. Reviewed January 22, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Laetitia Vineyard & Winery Estate Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 5,000 cases, $25 (sold for as little as $18 in some retail stores). The clonal blend for the 2005 vintage is 30% Martini and 70% Dijon 115, 667, 777 and 2A. The growing season was mild allowing for ripe flavors at relatively low sugar levels. Yields were 2 to 2.5 tons per acre. The wine was aged for 8 months in 30% new French oak barrels. This is the first of the 2005 vintage from the Central Coast that I have tasted, and if any indication, this should be a terrific and even landmark year for Pinot Noir from this region. · This Pinot is dark violet in color. The charming aromas and flavors feature plums, black cherries, earth and spice. There is plenty of structure to appeal to those who prefer a bigger mouth feel, but the overall impression is one of sexy silkiness. Nicely balanced so easy to cozy up to now. How do they do this for $25? Reviewed May 22, 2006 WINERY »

2005 Casa Barranca Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 125 cases, $26. William Moses crafts his wines from purchased fruit in a century-old subterranean stone cistern , an original feature of his National Historic Landmark Casa Barranca Estate. He insists on organic farming of his grapes. · Terrific aromatics here with vibrant crushed cherries and oak spice. A light core of red cherry fruit is supplemented by herb and woodsy tastes. Good acid spine. The nose trumps the flavors but still a decent drink. Reviewed November 12, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2004 Laetitia Vineyard & Winery Laetitia Vineyard Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

440 cases, $65. Laetitia has a colorful history going back to 1982 when Champagne Deutz first planted vineyards in the Arroyo Grande Valley. Since 2001, the winery has been under the ownership of businessman Selim Zilkha and the wines have starred ever since. The current winemaker, Eric Hickey, has been at the helm since 1990. The wine may be purchased at the winery’s website: www.laetitiawine.com. · This Pinot is nicely perfumed with spicy cherries and floral notes. A little cinnamon candy peaks out as well. Elegant and soft, the palate is all Pinot with emphasis on finesse over fruit heaviness. This finish is clean and zippy. Reviewed January 22, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »