Lula Cellars

Owner(s) Jeff Hansen
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Lula Cellars

A small production label (2,500 cases) owned by winemaker Jeff Hansen, a twenty-five year wine industry veteran who was previously the winemaker and part owner of Amici Cellars in Mendocino County, California. He made his first Pinot Noir in 2002 from grapes grown in the Mendocino Coastal town of Comptche and since then, all of his Pinot Noirs have come from that area. Hansen eventually left Amici, moved to the Mendocino Coast and started Lula Cellars.

Lula was the name of Hansen's grandmother, who was born in 1879 in Oklahoma, and lived to the ripe age of 89.

In 2012, three Pinot Noirs were offered: Costa Vineyard (Comptche, Mendocino County), Peterson Vineyard (Comptche, Mendocino County) and a Mendocino County blend of grapes from Comptche. Zinfandel, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and a Roato are also produced.

In October 2014, a new tasting room was opened on a 22-acre property in Anderson Valley. The new property has frontage along Hwy 128 in Philo (at the corner of Hwy 128 and Guntley Road next door to Handley Cellars), and includes a 14-acre Pinot Noir vineyard, a tasting room and a small production winemaking facility. In 2015, an event area is available for weddings and private parties. The tasting room will be open daily from 10:00 to 6:00.

The wines are only sold directly to consumers. 707-895-3737.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Lula Mendocino Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 700 cases, $42. 65% Pommard, 30% 115 and 5% 777. Aged 14 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of old wood, mushroom, fire pit and peat lead to lighter weight flavors of dark cherry and black raspberry with an earthy undertone. Generous dry tannins arrive with a rush on the crisp, short finish. Score: 87. Reviewed March 29, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Lula Mendocino Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 400 cases, $42 (sold out). Lula is the winemaker’s maternal grandmother. Grapes are grown near Comptche 16 miles south east of the coastal village of Mendocino. Vineyard planted in 1998. 60% Pommard, 35% 115, and 5% 777. Aged 12 months in 50% new French oak. Aged an additional 6 months in barrel after final blending. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Oak dominates the nose with appealing ancillary notes of black cherry, blackberry, cola, earthy flora, and spice. Tasty black cherry and boysenberry fruit offers dramatic mid palate intensity and finish. Mid to full bodied with balanced tannins and a long finish. Score: 89. Reviewed March 29, 2014 ARTICLE »

2007 Lula Cellars Mendocino Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 315 cases, $39. Lula is winemaker Jeff Hansen’s maternal grandmother’s name. Hansen was previously the winemaker and owner of Amici Cellars in Napa. The inaugural release from a 5-acre vineyard planted in 1998 in the mountain town of Comptche, 10 miles east of village of Mendocino. 65% pommard, 30% Dijon 115 and 5% Dijon 777. 4-day cold soak. Aged 18 months in 50% new French oak. Great label. · Moderately deep purplish-red color in the glass. Brooding aromas of plum sauce, dark berry melange, and leaf. Charming fruit core replete with vivid flavors of black plums, black raspberries and blackberries persisting on the intensely aromatic finish. Perfectly integrated oak and well proportioned ripe tannins. This wine has real mountain character, tasting like other intriguing Pinots I have had from Comptche, a little-known, but superb growing area for Pinot Noir. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

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