We drove up beyond Santa Maria to Laetitia, a beautiful property just off 101, and were met br Elly Hartshorn, Marketing and Hospitality Manager for the winery. The wines, all from bottle, with very brief notes:

nv Brut Rose: $25, light, fruity, 86

2002 Cuvee M: $30, light yeasty nose, complex, 89

2005 Estate Chardonnay: $18, great oaky nose, rough, 82

2005 Estate Pinot Blanc: $16, light, blah, 80

2005 Chardonnay Reserve: $26, closed medicinal nose, oaky, young, 86

2005 Estate Pinot Noir: $25, ripe cherry nose, light, 85

2005 Pinot Noir Reserve: $40, dark fruit flavors, 84

2005 La Colline Pinot Noir: $60, sweet cherry and floral nose, rich and young, 94

2005 Les Galets Pinot Noir: $60, sweet cherry nose, wonderful depth, a great wine, 95

I think the sparklers will only get better, especially the Cuvee M. It's one to watch for the future. I found the lower end wines drinkable but light, however I'm guessing the people at this site would be looking more toward the excellent Pinot Noirs. The La Colline and Les Galets are stunning wines, about as fine as can found anywhere in California. The winery is beautiful, the staff hospitable. If you're in the area, I'd recommend a visit to sample these wines.
Original Post
i have several bottles of the Les Galets & La Colline and feel both are very young and not showing their potential at this point, im not going to open one for 2-3 years... i havent had the 05' Reserve, but you can cut and past your note on the La Colline for my description of the 04' Reserve... we drink alot of the 05' Estate at my house during the week, can find locally for less than $20- without issue
KSC02- hard to say. I really only have the 2005 vintage with which I can make any comparison. The notes I took were very brief, but my recollection is that the differences are slight, but that the Melvilles might have a bit more ageability and polish, while the Laetitias might have a bit more youthful appeal. The Laetitia La Colline and Les Galets sell at the winery for $8 more than the Melville Terraces and Carrie's, which makes the Melville's better QPRs for me.

kum, I was a little surprised that the Reserve didn't show better. There were no obvious signs of damage, as far as I could tell.
Great notes, as always.

One quibble, though. As Laetitia has been producing wines for nearly a decade now, expect the Cuvee M to be typical of what they will produce in the future. If they make something better, it will likely be bottled separately and sport a bigger price tag.

Personally, I have always enjoyed their still wines, especially the higher-end Pinot noirs.
quote:
Originally posted by highdesertwine:
One quibble, though. As Laetitia has been producing wines for nearly a decade now, expect the Cuvee M to be typical of what they will produce in the future.


As someone in the business, I'm certain you have had more exposure to Laetitia's wines than I have. I'd never heard of the Cuvee M before and assumed, incorrectly so it seems, that it was something new.
Board-0:

I didn't mean for it to sound like I was busting your chops. I don't know how many vintages they have made of "M." But I do know they have made several different bubblies for many years now... I always preferred the bubbly produced at the same facility when it was owned by Deutz, over a decade ago....

BTW, now that we have sold the wineshop, we are planning to move to Arroyo Grande (where Laetitia is located) sometime in the next 6 months. The weather there is perfect! What better resting place for an enophile's graveyard!
You bust chops? Big Grin You're an amateur!

Good luck with the move. The area's beautiful. I'm guessing you'll see a lot more area planted to vines in the near future. There's a lot of empty land in the region, especially out in the rural areas where Foxen and Au Bon Climat are located.
I haven't nearly gotten through all my notes yet, but if I had to rank the wineries we visited, in order, they would be:

Melville

Core Wine

Laetitia

Clos Pepe- likely would have placed higher but I tasted the wines while eating at Wes's barbecue

Au Bon Climat/Qupe

Foxen

Stolpman

Carhartt

Carina/Tensley

Lincourt/Foley

Andrew Murray

Beckmen

Consilience

Zaca Mesa

Alma Rosa

Gainey

Firestone

Under no circumstances should you waste any time at Presidio.
Enjoyed Andrew Murray. We didn't really buy any wine to carry home, but their 2004 Oak Savannah One Thousand Hills, a Priorat-like blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon was excellent and I didn't think I could find it here, so I bought one. (OK, so Priorat doesn't really grow Cabernet Franc!)
Nice. I have both an '04 and '05 Oak Savannah One Thousand Hills but have not tried them yet. Had them there an enjoyed them, so I was pleasantly surprised when I received one in each of my last 2 shipments.

Glad you enjoyed it though. I have yet to have a disappointing bottle from them, although we really didn't enjoy their 2005 Andrew Murray Grenache Blanc Estate Grown. Their 2005 Enchante wasn't quite what I expected either, but I found it more to my liking than the Grenache.

-mJ
no Babcock visit while @ Melville? i tend to like their lower end wines more then Melville, they make killer QPR Syrah & tasty Chard's...

u know how i feel aboue Laetitia, i like Foxen wines but they are too pricey, dont really like Andrew Murray & Au Bon Climat and am a bigger fan of Alma Rosa it seems...

since you're all about Melville & Greg Brewer, dont know if you have or not, but you should check into Brewer-Clifton, all small lot, single vineyard Pinot's & Chard's, not to mention Greg's side project Diatom which is still in it's infancy, focusing on site specific Chardonnay... the BC wines are monolithic beasts that need a few years of aging to show their best stuff
I haven't mentioned Babcock and Fess Parker because of scheduling problems. I'll be tasting their wines at home in the next month or so.

The Au Bon Climat barrel samples were promising. This winery was amongst the leaders in developing Pinot Noir winemaking techniques 15 years ago and is heading back in that direction now. In the early to mid 1990s, there was a lot of disappointing Pinot Noir made in the US. The 1993 and 1994 ABC vintages were great successes when such successes were relatively rare.
may i ask how you were able to arrange a visit with ABC?

i dont disagree on the laurels of Au Bon Climat or the quality of their wines (Clendenen has choice sources) they have just never made an impression with me to the point where i'd buy them for my cellar
Be careful stopping there while heading south on 101 if it's a busy travel day -- I think we sat there waiting for 15 nerve-wracking minutes trying to make the left hand turn across to the southbound lanes on a Thanksgiving weekend once, and I'm not a particularly timid driver.
quote:
Originally posted by P Monty:
Be careful stopping there while heading south on 101 if it's a busy travel day -- I think we sat there waiting for 15 nerve-wracking minutes trying to make the left hand turn across to the southbound lanes on a Thanksgiving weekend once, and I'm not a particularly timid driver.

that whole stretch of 101 is getting worse and worse every year... as more and more people move to Oxnard, Camarillo, Ventura and north through Arroyo Grande, SLO, etc... its nots going to get better Frown
Not to turn this into a political thread, but much of it is a function of Santa Barbara and its "pull up the ladders" anti-growth policies, which force their low-income work force to live north or south on 101 and make a long, miserable commute to work.
quote:
Originally posted by P Monty:
Not to turn this into a political thread, but much of it is a function of Santa Barbara and its "pull up the ladders" anti-growth policies, which force their low-income work force to live north or south on 101 and make a long, miserable commute to work.


sort of like how the newport beach workforce has to live in costa mesa? Wink

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