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Lost Canyon Winery had true gargariste origins. Started in a garage in the Montclair Hills of California in 1978, Jack States and Randy Keworth eventually teamed up with Bob Riskin and the Lost Canyon Winery was bonded in 2001. An urban winery was established in a renovated vintage 1900s warehouse on the San Francisco Bay waterfront south of Jack London Square in Oakland. Lost Canyon was one of fifteen wineries part of the East Bay Vintner’s Alliance. I was a fan since the first release in 2001. The wines showed excellent consistency from vintage to vintage. The owners had long-term contracts with the same three Pinot Noir vineyards contributing to the uniformity. The winery focused on 2,500 cases of small-lot Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Viognier from cool-climate vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Los Carneros and Sonoma Coast appellations.
The owners eventually lost interest in continuing the winery and their offspring had no interest in taking over. The Lost Canyon Winery brand was sold in 2008 to Fritz Winery in Cloverdale, CA. The new owners Clayton Frtiz and his winemaker Brad Longton fell in love with Lost Canyon wines and are committed to retaining their unique style, sourcing the same vineyards and using the same cooperages.
The winery opened a tasting room and wine bar (Station 1870) in downtown Santa Rosa at 123 4th St. Tasting is available Weds through Sun 10:00 - 4:00. Wines are also offered from the sister labels, Fritz, Jenner (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), and Vino Valpredo.
I have not sampled the wines since the takeover. Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay are produced under the Lost Canyon label.
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. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »
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. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »
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. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »
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. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 Lost Canyon Dutton Ranch Morelli Lane Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., <575 cases, $42. · The nose is closed down but with swirling subtle aromas of strawberry, barnyard and wood spice emerge. Red berry fruits, a little baking spice, a hint of oak and herbs make up the flavor profile. A bit reserved and shallow and a touch of green on the backend. Need to try again in six months. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »
2006 Lost Canyon Las Brisas Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., <400 cases, $42. · Shy aromas of red and black fruits with grilled meat, smoke and iodine notes. Light in body and showing considerable finesse, the soft and demure red fruit has a gamey and smoky edge. There is a refreshing kick of acid on the finish. My least favorite. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »
2006 Lost Canyon Los Brises Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., <275 cases, $42. · Aromas of root beer, raisin and sassafras. The flavors follow in step. A very ripe fruited wine that is well-crafted and is both soft and smooth in the mouth. Lovers of Tootsie roll will be attracted to this wine. Reviewed June 16, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 Lost Canyon Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.7% alc., <525 cases, $42. Lost Canyon has accessed fruit from Saralee’s Vineyard since 2002 (actually three of Saralee’s vineyards including Richard’s Grove and Saralee Vineyard Block, Trenton Station Vineyard, and Catie’s Corner Vineyard). Clones are 115 and 777. · Lightest in color in the lineup. A charmer with nice scents of cherry pie, cream soda and smoke. Red cherry leads the red fruit parade complimented by cocoa and coconut notes. Elegant in style and marvelous in taste. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »
2006 Lost Canyon Widdoes Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.8% alc., <350 cases, $42. The first year for this vineyard bottling. · Very demonstrable black cherry and candy cane aromas followed by showy and intense black cherry and blackberry fruit shot through with notes of wet oak and spice. A real charmer that is beautifully balanced with no intrusion of alcohol. The wine has enough acidity to compliment food beautifully. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 Lost Canyon Dutton Ranch Morelli Lane Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
($40) · A luscious offering with plenty of richness and creaminess. Mushroom, tea and cherry aromas followed by spicy Pinot fabulosity. The right stuff. Reviewed March 5, 2007 ARTICLE »
2005 Lost Canyon Dutton Ranch Morelli Vineyard Russian River Valley
14.1% alc., $40. The vineyard is located in Green Valley. Clones are 115, Pommard and Beringer. · The wine offers an aromatic charge of cherries, spice, exotic woods and floral notes. Flavors of red and black berries, tart cherries and herbs are satisfying. A hint of oak runs through from start to finish. The texture is soft and the wine is easy to drink. Similar to the Saralee’s, but more shallow and possessing less punch on the backend. Reviewed August 24, 2007 ARTICLE »
2005 Lost Canyon Los Brisas Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir
14.7% alc., $40. Clones 115 and UCD 18 are used from this vineyard farmed by Francis Mahoney. · A very classy nose of ripe Bing cherry and cola. The core of cherry fruit is enhanced with oak and herbs. Great persistence and suppleness in the mouth. Good acidity carries the finish. Brilliantly crafted, you’re the one that I want. Reviewed August 24, 2007 ARTICLE »
2005 Lost Canyon Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., $40. Dijon clones 115 and 777. · A rich, full wine that is still light on its feet. A demure, but complex nose of cassis, raspberries, cola and bittersweet chocolate. The varietal flavors are well-presented and the tannins are well-concealed. A metrosexual wine - masculine with a feminine side. Reviewed August 24, 2007 ARTICLE »
2005 Lost Canyon Winery Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
340 cases, $40. This winery is one of my perennial favorites and I seem to often pick their wines out at blind tastings. The winery has a new tasting room adjacent to the winery on the Oakland bay front. The wine will be released in the spring. I picked this one out as a favorite in both the preliminaries and final judgings. The website is www.lostcanyonwinery.com. · The beautiful aromatics feature red and black fruits enhanced by spices and a little exotic wood. Plenty of toasty cherries are offered in a nicely structured wine with a silky texture. A lingering finish makes this a really classy wine. Reviewed January 22, 2007 ARTICLE »