Driving is something which lost its charm for me a long time ago. I don't know about where you live, but in Los Angeles driving the surface streets generally means going slowly from one red light to the next. It's not a whole lot better on the freeways, but at least the freeways can take you to a place that's special. I know US Highway 101 can. That's how we get to the Santa Barbara County wine country.
On my most recent trip there, one of my stops was Lafond Winery. I enjoyed my short visit there so much, I had to bring some of it back home with me for a time when I really needed a little reminder of wine country. With so much driving this week, it's time.
Lafond's Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir comes from those beautiful rolling hills dotted with vineyards. Its purple hue is so dark I can barely see through it. There's currant on the nose, some spices and a fine earthiness, too. But the big feature is a floral component that is gorgeous. On the palate I find big dark fruit, tons of earth and a little tobacco.
The wine runs a little hot upon opening, and for half an hour after that, too. Decant, or at least give it some time to breathe. Its alcohol number is 14.5% abv. 2,800 cases of this wine were produced. I bought it myself at the tasting room discount of $24. It was worth the drive.