LUTUM Wines: Exceptional (Young) Winemaking Talent at Work
LUTUM is a partnership between winemaker Gavin Chanin and entrepreneur Bill Price focusing on singlevineyard
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Sonoma and Santa Barbara County. I bring your attention to this
young winery because the wines are very, very good.
Gavin Chanin skipped each fall semester while studying at UCLA to train under winemakers Jim Clendenen
and Bob Lindquist. He quickly became acquainted with the top vineyards in the Central Coast and launched
his own brand, Chanin Wine Company, in 2007, at the age of 23. An art major at UCLA, his paintings grace the
labels of Chanin Wine Company wines.
Chanin and Price met at an “In Pursuit of Balance” tasting in San Francisco in 2011, and Price was so
impressed with Chanin’s winemaking talent and philosophical focus at such a young age (29), that he asked
him to make some Pinot Noir from the Durell Vineyard with the 2011 vintage. Price was so pleased with the
results in barrel, in 2012 the two decided to launch a wine brand to highlight Chanin’s restrained touch with
Burgundian varieties. The 2,500 case winery is located in Lompoc and released its first wines from the 2012
vintage. The name LUTUM was chosen as it is Latin for “soil, earth.”
Chanin was recently featured in an article at www.grapecollective.com titled “Brilliant Chardonnays And Pinots -
And the Winemaker Is 29.” Read this for more in depth coverage.
Bill Price is proprietor of Classic Wines, LLC, which consists of Price Family Vineyards that includes ownership
and management of Durell Vineyard, Gap’s Crown Vineyard and other premium vineyard properties throughout
Sonoma County. In addition, Price has invested in numerous California wineries, including Three Sticks,
Buccella, Gary Farrell, Head High and Kistler.
The following 2013 releases are very impressive for their focused, balanced winemaking with an emphasis on
nuance, subtlety and vineyard expression. Chanin said, “The 2013 vintage was ideal and we were blessed with
some of the most physiologically ripe grapes we have ever seen.” I urge you to check them out. The wines are
available online at www.lutumwines.com.
2013 LUTUM Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
14.17% alc., 200 cases, $50. Harvest Brix 23.9º.
Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new. The
wine was racked, lightly fined and put back into barrel before
being bottled unfiltered.
Light golden yellow hue in the glass.
This is an exceptional wine that checks all the squares. Uplifting
aromas of lemon cake, peach, sea breeze, and chalk dust lead
to a flat-out delicious core of lemon, yellow grilled peach and yuzu zest.
Impeccable balance with seamless integration of oak and a bright, juicy
demeanor. The finish is remarkable for its length, expansive lemon
flavor, and cleansing acidity. Goes down like mother’s milk.
2013 LUTUM Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
13.82% alc., 150 cases, $50. Harvest Brix 23.9º.
Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new. Racked, lightly fined and put back into barrel and
Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Complex nose offering scents of lemon
bar, melon, apple, fig spread and a hint of oak. Very charming on the palate with flavors of lemon and yellow
apple, and a slightly lush and creamy mouth feel. The wine’s bracing acidity offers a mouthwatering sensation.
2013 LUTUM Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
13.42% alc., 650 cases, $50. From
blocks N and Q. Harvest Brix 23.6º. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, aged 15 months in 100% French oak
barrels, 25% new. Unfiltered.
Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. On the nose, dark cherries and
spice mix with dried herbs and dried mushrooms. The entry is earthy, with fruit flavors of raspberry and black
cherry, and a touch of spice. A charming wine with silky tannins and impeccable balance.
2013 LUTUM Gap’s Crown Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
13.9% alc., 300 cases, $60. Harvest Brix
23.9º. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, aged 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new.
Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine is primarily driven by red fruits with
aromas of crushed cherry and strawberry, and flavors of cherry, cranberry and raspberry. There is good
vibrancy, balanced tannins and substantial finishing power. Nicely crafted with seamless balance.
2013 LUTUM Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.13% alc., 250 cases, $60. Harvest Brix 24.3º.
100% 667 clone. 100% de-stemmed, 5-day cold soak, aged 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, 33% new.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose is quite shy and primary initially with subtle
aromas of cherry and raspberry. Over time in the glass, a pleasing deep cherry aromas emerges. Bright and
juicy with flavors of earth-kissed red cherry and cranberry, offering good mid palate richness and a modest
explosion of red fruits on the finish. The tannins are modest and oak plays a supportive role in the background.
2013 LUTUM La Rinconada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
14.9% alc., 225 cases, $50.
Harvest Brix 24.6º. 100% de-stemmed, 4-day cold soak, aged 15 months in 100% French oak barrels,
33% new. Unfiltered.
Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of fresh black
cherry pie, spice and sweet oak. Gorgeous mid weight plus fruit core featuring lightly spiced black
cherry and boysenberry with an earthy tone and a taste of iron. Substantial tannins are folded in with
seamless awareness. Very classy juice that is infused with vibrancy, finishing with a juicy cut of acidity.
The best wine I have had from this vineyard in recent memory.