Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Not Lazy, This Pinot Has Been Working Out

Burgundian technique in the winemaking process does not necessarily make a Burgundian wine. Even in the cool Anderson Valley, the grapes get far too ripe for that sort of expression. It’s the main reason California Pinot Noir is so different from that of Burgundy.

Lazy Creek Vineyards a subsidiary of Healdsburg's Ferrari Carano Winery. It’s located about an hour north, in Mendocino county's Anderson Valley. It is at this facility is where the company's full Pinot Noir production is centered.

A recent online tasting session introduced the latest Lazy Creek Vineyards vintages to a group of wine writers, myself included. We were all provided samples of the wine for review. The session was moderated by publicist Chelsea Kurnick and featured winemaker Christy Ackerman. You can see the Ustream broadcast page here.

Ackerman makes all of the Lazy Creek Vineyards wines, and all of the Pinot Noirs for Ferrari-Carano. She says she feels "very lucky" to work with Pinot Noir in general, and especially the grapes from the Lazy Creek estate vineyards.

Owners Don and Rhonda Carano describe Lazy Creek Vineyards as one of the smallest, and oldest wineries in the Anderson Valley. They bottle a Gewurztraminer and the rosé, but all the rest are Pinot Noirs.

The Lazy Creek Vineyards Lazy Day Pinot Noir 2014 is a well-made, although brutish, wine that strikes the California alcohol level of 14.5% abv and retails for $35.

Lazy Day is a medium dark ruby red in the glass and is scented with dark raspberry, earth and some fairly serious smoke. The cool climate of Anderson Valley put its stamp on this one. Flavors are dark, but fruity, with an anise and eucalyptus note. The palate is loaded with earthiness and acidity. It's a bold one, so if you like California Pinot, try it. If you prefer a more elegant approach, this may not be your cup. But if you like a bit of brawn, sign up and call it a $35 bargain.