Sunday, August 5, 2012

Two Pinots and Roasted Chicken

2010 Queen of Hearts Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County - This is the entry level label from Lucas & Lewellen and it provides plenty of bang for the buck at the $15 retail level. Nice dark color. Nose offers strawberry, black cherry and a bit of resinous rosemary. Quite smooth and harmonious on the palate with black cherry and spice notes and a certain mouth-coating buttery richness. Finishes a bit leafy. I like the fact that this is a $15 wine that carries something higher than a "California" appellation.

Two steps higher in their line-up is the 2009 Lucas & Lewellen Goodchild High 9 Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County. This one is quite a bit darker and the nose is just that much deeper with the black cherry, sweet earth and minty notes. Astonishing depth. After being open for two days, it still has considerable tannins reminiscent of black tea and leather. Long finish buoyed with nice acidity. Retails in the high-$20 range.

Dinner was a delicious roasted chicken accompanied by a red wine/mushroom pan sauce, steamed broccoli and baked sweet potatoes.

Note: These wines were provided by the producer and I am considering distributing these wines in Kansas.


  1. Bill, an interesting review and comparison; though you did say the Goodchild is "Two steps" . . . up", you left me wondering about the QPR; actually the QPR seems to about the same from your description.
    Funny how the label reflects the degree of seriousness the vintners want to portray.

    1. There's also a L&L Santa Barbara County Pinot that's priced in the low-20 range. I believe it a blend of some Goodchild Vineyard fruit and some fruit from one other vineyard. We tried that one at lunch, but my partner took that one home.

      The playing card label is going away for the next vintage. They are keeping the "Queen of Hearts" name for their lower-end offerings, but the next label will be a little more serious.