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2008 Clos LaChance Lila's Cuvee Red

Clos LaChance Winery
2008 Lila's Cuvee, Rhone Style Blend

91 Points - Wine Enthusiast

One of the best way’s to find value in the world of wine is to travel off the beaten path a little bit, where prices are driven by wine quality instead of hype.  Interestingly, sometimes these lesser known areas have been producing wine for a long time in relative obscurity. Such is the case with the Santa Cruz Mountain areas, which despite being home to such vineyards as Ridge’s Monte Bello and the original Paul Masson and Martin Ray vineyards has not gained the fame of Napa and Sonoma. Today’s Heist comes from Clos LaChance, a new family winery in the Santa Cruz area carrying on the tradition of exquisite wine in this area, while specializing in small “backyard” vineyards in unique spots throughout the region.

The 2008 Clos LaChance Lila’s Cuvee is a red Rhone-style blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Grenache.  It is medium purple in color, with a dark, brooding nose of blackberry, blueberry, cassis, and graham cracker.  The palate is lighter, medium in body with berry, cherry, and cocoa flavors accompanied by mineral and spice notes, held together with refreshing acidity and round tannins.  We snagged this one as a special pre-release, and so are able to offer it at just $30, a 25% discount and a great opportunity to stock up on a versatile red and perfect for the cold winter months ahead.

Fruit for Lila’s Cuvée is sourced 100% from the Clos LaChance Estate Vineyard in San Martin. The 150-acre Estate Vineyard was planted in 1999-2000. Nearly 20 varietals were planted, along with 60 separate clones—providing our winemaker with a spice rack of blending wines. Hot sunny days throughout the growing season, coupled with cool ocean breezes in the evenings, allow for increased grape hang-time and the further development of flavors and complexities. Computerized vineyard maintenance and data recording systems (weather stations, leaf and soil sensors, automated irrigation and fertigation) were also installed on site, ensuring the highest quality fruit possible.

The different varietals Lila’s Cuvée were hand-harvested, sorted and de-stemmed to separate stainless steel tanks to cold soak for up to 72 hours. During fermentation, punch downs took place up to 4 times per day at the peak. Once dry, the wine was drained and pressed to 100% French oak barrels, 30% new, to complete malolactic fermentation and age for 16 months. This wine racked back to tank, blended and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Appellation: Central Coast
Harvest Dates: Oct. 1-28, 2008
Alcohol: 14.5%
pH: 3.52
TA: 0.65
Bottling Dates: May 19, 2010
Release Date: May, 2011
Total Cases: 176
Blend: 36% Syrah, 34% Petite Sirah, 28% Grenache, 1%Mouvèdre, 1% Carignane

Tasting Notes PDF PDF

The Heintz Ranch has been in their family for nearly 100 years, but despite some early experimentation with Zinfandel (aborted

thanks to the beginning of prohibition), it wasn’t until 1982 that the property was planted with Chardonnay vines.  As the

amazing potential of this cool site near the Pacific Ocean became clear, Pinot Noir was added, and this unique site’s destiny

as a haven for Burgundian varieties in California was realized.  Heintz Ranch grapes are used by many of the top Pinot and

Chard producers in California, including Littorai, Freeman, and Williams-Selyem, but the family reserves some of the best

blocks for their own label. The finest lots are used for the ultra-premium Heintz label, and we are very lucky to have been

able to snag a small allocation of the Heintz Pinot Noir from the stunning 2007 vintage.

This wine is hard to find normally, let alone at a discount, so don’t miss your chance on this one!
The 2007 Heintz Pinot Noir, from the family vineyard just outside Occidental, shows all the characteristics of cool climate

Pinot Noir.  Light red in color with a hint of purple, the nose shows black cherry, pine, and earthy undertones. The palate is

loaded with an array of flavors, from raspberry and cherry to earthy, almost graphite notes, and a hint of eucalyptus.  Medium

to light in body, this has remarkable complexity and depth, and does an amazing job of showing off the terroir of the “true”

Sonoma Coast, where the influence of cool air from the Pacific Ocean is huge.  This is one for the true Pinotphile, and should

reward another year or two in the cellar.

About The Winery...

Clos LaChance Winery takes its name from the small fenced-in area encompassing a vineyard (Clos) and from co-owner Brenda Murphy’s maiden name. The Murphy’s chose the Hummingbird as the winery’s symbol for both its aesthetic beauty and its ability to keep other birds away from the grapes.

In 1987, co-owners Bill and Brenda Murphy decided to plant a few rows of Chardonnay in their Saratoga backyard for landscaping purposes and to realize their dreams of being vintners. A few years later, the wines produced from this small backyard vineyard were good enough to sell to the public. It was at this point that Clos LaChance formed into a full fledged winery. The first commercially released wines were from the 1992 vintage.

In 1996, in order to ensure a continuing supply of high quality fruit, Bill and Brenda established CK Vines, a vineyard maintenance and installation company specializing in "back-yard" vineyard development throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation. CK Vines is named after the Murphy's two daughters (Cheryl and Kristin). Currently, CK Vines manages 40 acres of backyard vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountain and Central Coast AVA’s.

Clos LaChance Winery & Estate Vineyard is located in San Martin, CA (20 miles south of San Jose). The Murphy’s opened the winery production facility in time for the 2001 harvest, while the Hospitality Center, including tasting room, patio, and banquet and wedding facilities, opened to the public in May of 2002. Adjacent to CordeValle Resort & Golf Course’s 6th hole, the winery is ideally situated and designed to provide visitors with breathtaking views of the Estate Vineyard and surrounding hills.

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