This Thursday we are pleased to welcome Lucas and Lewellen’s Southern Sales Manager Lary Petterson. Lary chose the selection for the tasting this week and will be on hand to provide insight about the wines and answer any questions. We will sample six wines altogether, three from the estate Lucas and Lewellen tier and three from their “second label” Queen of Hearts.
Here’s some information about Lary: “Lary Petterson is the Southern Regional Manager for Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards, and covers the central United States to the east coast. He has 15 years experience in the wine industry and is enjoying his fifth year with the iconic Santa Barbara winery. He has traveled the globe extensively from France, Italy and Spain to Belize, Honduras and Hong Kong as a professional wine associate. He brings a genuine enthusiasm for learning, and a comprehensive knowledge of the wine industry and Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards in particular.”
Recently, Lucas and Lewellen’s winemaker Megan McGrath visited the store and presented us with their current vintages. Megan is actually a soil scientist with a cum laude degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2001 who later earned her certificate in winemaking from the University of California at Davis. She has been Head Winemaker at Lucas and Lewellen since November of 2007. Before Lucas and Lewellen, Megan worked at Flowers where she learned to make Pinot Noir. She told us that all of the grapes for Lucas and Lewellen are hand-harvested and hand-cultivated.
Lucas and Lewellen is a family-owned winery, co-owned by Louis Lucas and Judge Royce Lewellen. Here’s the story of how it all started, as told by Royce Lewellen: “I first met Louis Lucas shortly after I moved from Solvang to Santa Maria in 1975. We were both members of the Santa Maria Wine & Food Society and the Rotary Club of Santa Maria. Louis was growing wine grapes in the Santa Maria Valley and selling them primarily to wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties, where wines made from his grapes won high honors. Louis and I became friends, especially enjoying the Wine and Food Society events together. In 1989, as a Superior Court Judge, I performed the ceremony when Louis and Jill were married.
In the mid-90’s the quality of Santa Barbara County wines, and the relative value of vineyard land compared to Napa and Sonoma, brought the major California wineries to the County in a land rush. It was then that I first told Louis “Don’t sell any vineyards to those alligators from up north without first talking to me”.
In January of 1996, out of the blue, Louis called and invited me to lunch at Chef Rick’s in Orcutt. Over lunch he told me he was considering selling one or the other of his two vineyards. I told Louis I wasn’t interested in buying a vineyard but I’d buy a half interest in the two vineyards if he would do the farming. By the end of that lunch, Lucas and Lewellen Vineyards was in business!”
We hope you will join us this Thursday to welcome Lary Petterson and sample an outstanding selection of Santa Barbara wines!
Queen of Hearts Chardonnay 2010– Santa Barbara County. “Our Queen of Hearts Chardonnay offers up fresh and zesty ripe fruit flavors like golden delicious apple, Bartlett pear, honey and flowers. Unlike many of today’s Chardonnays, it is cold fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve its bright, fresh aromas and flavors. This wine was bottled in the flower of its youth to capture the true flavor of the grape on the day of harvest. Enjoy this wine with seafood, chicken, pork and vegetarian dishes.” Tasting $12.99
Queen of Hearts Pinot Noir 2010– Santa Barbara County. “Pinot Noir is among the very most versatile of red wines and represents a safe, sound choice for a wide variety of foods. We grow Pinot Noir in our cool, Santa Barbara County vineyards to ensure a balanced, flavorful wine. This lovely Pinot was fermented in small batches, aged in oak barrels, carefully blended and bottled at the peak of quality. This vintage has aromas of ripe blackberry, black cherry, and cola with smooth fruit driven flavors of plum, strawberry and warm spices. Enjoy frequently!” Tasting $13.99
Queen of Hearts Cabernet Sauvignon 2009– Santa Barbara County. “The grapes for this wine were grown in our Valley View Vineyard not far from the Danish village of Solvang. This wine is a blend of several small, quality batches, each picked at the peak of ripeness and flavor. Each lot is carefully nurtured in the barrel for nearly two years, then masterfully blended and bottled on our premises. Enjoy Queen of Hearts Cabernet with beef, lamb, pork and vegetarian cuisine.” Tasting $12.99
Lucas and Lewellen Chardonnay 2009– Santa Barbara County. Los Alamos and Goodchild Vineyards. Unoaked. Its soft, aromatic nose offers appealing scents of vanilla and spice. Soft and creamy on the palate with a textured, viscous mouthfeel. Peach and tropical fruit flavors linger on the silky finish. “Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards is owned and operated by the two namesake families who produce the estate grown fruit that makes this bright, stainless steel fermented Chardonnay. This wine has distinct pear, peach and stone fruit complexity with a hint of lemony-citrus and resin. It is a pure expression of the fruit grown on younger vines from both the Los Alamos and Goodchild Vineyards in Northern Santa Barbara County.” Tasting $16.99
Lucas and Lewellen Pinot Noir 2008– Santa Barbara County. Santa Maria and Los Alamos Vineyards. A deep and complex nose of spice and floral notes combine with tart/sour red fruits of cranberry and mulberry. Sweet, juicy fruit flavors are enhanced with tangy acidity. Bright and approachable. “This stylish wine is a blend of selected lots from two of our estate vineyards which include four distinct clones. Fermentation took place in small, 1½ ton fermenters which were punched down manually 3-4 times daily for approximately 10 days. After pressing, the wine was immediately barreled, with all its lees, in neutral French oak and aged for 9 months. Signature bright red fruit, savory herbs, wet earth minerality and creaminess are the hallmarks of this premium blend. The palate is refined with a naturally crisp acidity and excellent mid-palate structure giving the wine both weight and buoyancy.” Tasting $18.99
Lucas and Lewellen Valley View Cabernet Sauvignon 2009– Santa Barbara County. Valley View Vineyard. A Bordeaux-style blend that spent 18-24 months in French oak, 50% new. Opaque purple in color with inviting aromas of cherry, spice, oak and vanilla. Sweet scents are complemented with flavors of coffee and mocha, sweet oak, and juicy, ripe black fruits. “This truly Bordeaux styled blend is comprised of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and nearly equal amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, and Malbec making up the difference. Aging was carried out in French oak barrels. This ripe, well sculpted Cabernet in the Bordeaux tradition is saturated in color. Aromas of black currant with hints of violet and spicy oak lead to smooth cassis-like flavors in the unforgettable finish. This elegant wine will benefit from up to seven or eight years of additional cellaring.” Tasting $22.99