Pisoni is thrilled that our 2018 Lucia wines have just assembled high praise from renowned wine critic Jeb Dunnuck. These wines are all sourced from estate fruit farmed by vineyard manager Mark Pisoni and are crafted by winemaker Jeff Pisoni. Each of the Lucia wines earned admiration from Dunnuck, who christened the Lucia Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands “a classic Chardonnay that does everything right” and our Pinot Noir a “sexy, spicy style.” The 2018 Syrah Soberanes Vineyard was singled out as “beautifully put together.” Dunnuck sang highest praise for our Garys’ Vineyard wines, of which he named the 2018 Syrah Garys’ Vineyard “a dead ringer for a Côte Rôtie” and the 2018 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard “the finest vintage of this release I’ve tasted!”
Moving to the Pinot Noirs, the appellation 2018 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands has a big, sexy, spicy style as well as medium to full body, a rounded, expansive mouthfeel, classic Pinot Noir underbrush, violets, Asian spices, integrated acidity, and a great finish. This is a year-in, year-out great value readers will love.
The 2018 Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard is slightly more Burgundian, with lots of darker, earthy red and black fruit as well as spice, forest floor, and autumn leaf and black tea notes as well as medium to full body, a rounded, nicely textured mouthfeel, and building tannins. It’s another terrific wine, yet I think a year or two in bottle will do it well.
The 2018 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard is a little more dense, focused, and tight, with beautiful black cherry and currant fruits as well as notes of camphor, new leather, violets, and earthy notes. I love its balance. Medium to full-bodied, it has nicely integrated acidity, subtle oak, and a great finish. It’s going to keep for 7-8 years, easily. Along with the 2016, it’s the finest vintage of this release I’ve tasted!
There are two Chardonnay under this label, both terrific. The 2018 Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands boasts a medium gold color as well as Burgundian notes of mulled stone fruits, toasted bread, spice, and subtle oak. It’s rich, medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and just a classic Chardonnay that does everything right. I’d drink it over the coming 4-5 years, yet I’m sure it will keep longer.
The single vineyard 2018 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard is also beautiful but has a slightly more steely, tight, backward vibe. White flowers, crushed rocks, white peach, and white currant notes define the bouquet, and it’s medium-bodied and balanced, with a lengthy mineral-laced finish. Give bottles a year or two.
Moving to the three Syrah releases, the 2018 Garys’ Vineyard is a dead ringer for a Côte Rôtie with its ripe framboise, crushed stone, peppery herbs, violets, green olive, and spring flower aromas and flavors. Beautifully balanced, medium to full-bodied, with ripe tannins and good acidity, give bottles a year or two and enjoy over the following decade.
The 2018 Syrah Soberanes Vineyard is similarly deep purple and offers a more mineral-laced, classic, straight style. It’s an Hermitage compared to the Côte Rôtie-like Garys’ Vineyard. Black and blue fruits, liquid rock, graphite, ground pepper, and new leather notes define this beauty, another medium to full-bodied, beautifully put together, structured wine from this team. It too will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for a decade or more.
Coming from a wind-swept ridge in the Pisoni Vineyard, in the southern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands, the 2018 Syrah Susan’s Hill boasts a saturated purple color as well as a smoky, peppery bouquet of blue fruits, lavender, smoked game, and iron. This is a young, unevolved, yet beautifully balanced Syrah that has fullbodied richness, ripe, present tannins, and a great finish. It needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for a decade.