TAPS Winebar

Lucas & Lewellen

Pinot Noir High 9


The wine is from the plot that is located highest. Hence the name "High 9". Ripe cherries, dried herbs, gooseberries and a small tinge of melon are flanked by mushrooms, a tinge of caramel and a little bit of oak. Great heaviness of the fruit; restrained, rather mild acid style and round tannins in a mineral aftertaste. Beautiful wine with a different style than the French.
The hilltop in the cool Santa Maria Valley, where the grapes grow, has a leaner, calcareous soil than further down. The altitude provides extra cool nights and a very long growing season right here. The grapes are hand-harvested, and after long fermentation with "punch down" for aroma extraction from the solids, the wine is stored on the yeast residues in French oak in 10 months 46% new barrels.


Vinen er fra den parcel, der ligger allerhøjest. Deraf navnet "High 9". Modne kirsebær, tørrede urter, stikkelsbær og en lille snert melon flankeres af svampe, snert af karamel og et lille fadpræg. God tyngde i frugten; behersket, ret mild syrestil og runde tanniner i en mineralsk eftersmag. Flot vin med en anden stil end de franske.

Bakketoppen i den kølige Santa Maria Valley, druerne vokser på, har en mere mager, kalkholdig jord end længere nede. Højden sørger for ekstra kølige nætter og en meget lang vækstsæson netop her. Druerne håndhøstes, og efter lang gæring med "punch down" for aromaudtræk fra faststofferne, lagres vinen på gærresterne i fransk eg i 10 mdr. 46% nye fade.


Country: USA

Region: Santa Barbera County, California

Winery: Lucas & Lewellen

Year: 2015

Type: Red

Grapes: Pinot Noir

Alcohol: 14,5%

Aging: Oak barrels

Closure: Cork

Winemaking: Traditional



Lucas & Lewellen is the result of a meeting between a 3rd generation grape grower and a Supreme Court judge with a burning interest in wine. Louis Lucas has been growing grapes in Santa Barbera County, California since 1970 and had seen many wines, based on his grapes, get rave reviews when he met Judge Royce Lewellen of Rotary and the local Wood & Wine Society. They developed a close friendship and agreed on a financial partnership to make the wine themselves. It started in borrowed facilities in 1998, and they then built a brand new winery in Buellton in the Santa Ynez Valley, close to Lucas' home in Solvang, where their tasting room is also located on Copenhagen Drive.

Lucas & Lewellen er et resultat af mødet mellem en 3. generations druedyrker og en højesteretsdommer med en brændende interesse for vin. Louis Lucas har dyrket druer i Santa Barbera County i Californien siden 1970 og havde set mange vine, baseret på hans druer, få flotte anmeldelser, da han mødte dommeren Royce Lewellen i Rotary og det lokale Wood & Wine Society. De udviklede et nært venska og blev enige om et finansielt partnerskab for at lave vinen selv. Det begyndte i lånte faciliteter i 1998, og de byggede derefter en helt ny vingård i Buellton i Santa Ynez Valley, tæt på Lucas' hjem i Solvang, hvor deres tasting room også ligger på Copenhagen Drive.

General grape descriptions

Pinot Noir

The fashionable red burgundy grape is capable of producing divinely scented, gorgeously fruity expressions of place but often unwilling or unable to do so. Pinot Noir is sensitive to the size of crop it is expected to produce, and many vapid examples exemplify an over-demanding yield. It ripens relatively early so is not suitable for very warm regions where there would be no time to develop interesting flavours before acid levels plummet. On the other hand, many of the cooler regions in which it thrives suffer autumn rains which can rot Pinot's thin-skinned berries, resulting in pale, tainted wines. The Pinot Noir grower's lot is not an easy one.

This ancient eastern French vine is, with Gouais Blanc, parent of a host of other varieties including Chardonnay, Gamay and the Muscadet grape Melon de Bourgogne. Because it is so old, there are many well-established mutations such as Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Meunier and there is enormous variation in wine quality between different clones. Planting the wrong clone in the wrong place is one of many reasons for the wide variation in quality between different red burgundies and different varietal Pinot Noirs from elsewhere.

The positive side of all this is that Pinot Noir is a very transparent grape. It really can communicate the difference in terroir, or grape-growing environment, between adjacent plots of vineyard.