2005 Sierra Madre Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Sierra Madre Vineyard
California: Santa Barbara County: Santa Maria Valley
What We Say
2008 Wine Intrigue Award Winner: Operatives Choice, Top Exclusive, Runner Up
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
We always feature great wines, but today’s wine is an absolutely perfect Pinot Noir. Did we mention that we got our hands on the final few cases??
FREE SHIPPING ALERT!
FREE Ground Shipping Included on 6 bottles or more. Enter this coupon code at checkout (discount will be shown before you complete your order): SPYLAZARRE
Mission Codename: A Walk on the Wild Side – Part Two
Operative: Agent Pinot
Objective: Procure a quantity of Adam LaZarre’s Sierra Madre Pinot Noir
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: LaZarre Wines
Wine Subject: 2005 LaZarre Wines Sierra Madre Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Adam LaZarre
If there is a bad boy rockstar winemaker, its Adam LaZarre. Okay, maybe that’s overstating things a bit, but if Elvis was the King of Rock & Roll, Adam LaZarre is the king of modern winemaking.
LaZarre is part of the winemaking team at Hahn Estates/Smith & Hook winery, where he holds the title of Vice President. He’s also the guy that was principally responsible for the mega-success of the Rex Goliath brand, which sold to Constellation Brands for a reported $30 Million.
Today, LaZarre travels the world, evangelizing for Hahn Estates and is away from his fields for more than 30 weeks out of the year. When he is home in Monterey County, he can be found in the vineyards or in his laboratory, mixing, blending, tasting, and making sweet music.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep ruby red with excellent clarity with long slender legs.
Smell – Great aromatics of fruit and gunpowder that evolves to include cherries and cedar wood.
Feel – Wet and velvety with mild tannins that reach the back fo the tongue.
Taste – Great subtle fruit including cherries, cocoa, and very nice earthy quality and not a hint of bitterness.
Finish – This wine finishes long and smooth. Excellent mouth feel and taste at the beginning and great feel and taste as it fades from your palate.
Conclusion – This Pinot Noir exemplifies its varietal characteristics. Adam LaZarre has truly captured the essence in this wine. Simply seduction!
While on recent mission, one of my assets introduced me to a young woman that was ‘in the biz’. It turns out that she had some inside information on a winery that we had been gathering intel on for some time, Hahn Estates/Smith & Hook Winery. I took the opportunity, then and there, to recruit her as an active asset. This has paid off for The Wine Spies and our network of wine drinking Agents in a big way; this new asset, Codename Neutron, quickly tipped me off about Hahn (more on them in a future mission) and about their master winemaker Adam LaZarre, who had just launched his own wine label, LaZarre.
Neutron, who is deeply connected in the wine world, was quickly able to arrange a secret meeting for me with Adam LaZarre. A few days later, I found myself at the beautiful Hahn Estate where I was greeted by Neutron who shepherded me to the Hahn tasting room. I recommend that you visit this particular tasting room, with its incredible view of the Hahn vineyards below.
I stood there at the tasting counter, chatting with the friendly Hahn staff, pretending to be a wine buyer from a retail store in Beverly Hills. After a while of talking and tasting Hahn wines, I was informed LaZarre was at last on his way.
Adam LaZarre is a legend and I could not help but feel a little reverence as I anticipated our meeting. When at last a freshly showered and sunglass clad Adam walked in – with his sidekick mutt Maxie in tow – he gave a friendly wave and then walked right on by me, disappearing behind the tasting counter. He dove into an industrial refrigerator and then emerged with a cold beverage, which he quickly guzzled. After a refreshed-sounding, “Ahhhhhh!”, Adam LaZarre, still in mirrored shades, came up and shook my hand.
The next hour was spent tasting wine and discussing wine, winemaking, grape growing, chemistry, rock stars, more wine and finally, Adam’s newest wine, LaZarre Pinot Noir. A delicious example of one of my favorite varietals, this particular wine, with its leopard print label and cork, is quite down-to-earth and very balanced for a wine with a wild-looking label.
Adam invited me into his private offices, where we continued our discussions, this time discussing his new Pinot Noir in greater detail. He showed me this mention, by wine writer Dan Berger:
“2005 LaZarre Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard : Racy central coast aroma of dried herbs and cherries, with a rich mid-palate, great substance, and superb length.”
I thought that was great for a short description, but you should read my tasting notes below for my more detailed impressions.
NOTE: The Bien Nacido Pinot Noir was the winner and this wine is the Sierra Madre Pinot Noir; the runner up for Top Exclusive wine.
While this is a very limited production wine, I was able to negotiate with Adam LaZarre for a small quantity of this wine for our Operatives. If you love Pinot Noir, you will really enjoy this particular one. Try it and you will see why Adam LaZarre deserves all of the praise and credit that he gets for his winemaking.
What color are Adam LaZarre’s eyes? I still don’t know. He never took off his sunglasses.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Sierra Madre Vineyard can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
From the Wine Label:
“Damn! I knew I was in trouble. The big cat’s face appeared through the mist. With a rush, it leaped straight for me, only to fall helplessly a few feet away. I rolled it onto its back and noticed the purple stain around its mouth. The cat let out a stunning belch. “Jesus!” The smell of wine and Dik-Dik washed over my face. “This guy is obviously drunk”, I thought to myself, “no sober creature would ever pair Pinot Noir with Antelope!”
About Adam Lazarre – Winemaker
With the Hahn Estates’ revitalization program in high gear, winemaker Adam LaZarre was perfectly positioned to take advantage of the best of Monterey when he joined the winery in 2001. Adam was introduced to California wines while in the U.S. Navy, stationed at the Naval base in Alameda, California. Repeated trips to Napa reinforced his passion for wine and launched a dream that would shape his future. After completion of six years of service in the Navy, he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a winemaker and enrolled and graduated from California State University, Fresno. During his studies, Adam discovered and fell in love with the wines of the Central Coast. Since graduating from Fresno, Adam has mostly concentrated his efforts on winemaking in this bountiful region, working at Elliston Vineyards, Jekel and Riverland vineyards before joining the team at Hahn Estates / Smith & Hook.
Santa Maria Valley is one of California’s coolest grape growing appellations with one of the longest growing seasons in the world. The well-drained, lean soils are direct access to cool Pacific Ocean breezes and fog funneled to the vineyards by transverse mountain ranges, make it one of America’s premier growing regions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Sierra Madre Vineyard is the most westerly vineyard in Santa Maria Valley. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes it one of California’s coldest vineyards. Soils in the Sierra Madre Vineyard are lean and well-drained sandy loam. More sand that loam, they are light in texture and about 24 inches deep. These shallow soils control plant vigor and are ideal for creating low yields and intensity of flavor in the fruit.
Appellation: Santa Maria Valley
Vineyard: Sierra Madre Vineyard
Months in Barrel: 18 Months
Oak: 40% New French
Varietal: 100% Sierra Madre Pinot Noir
Total Production: Only 112 Cases