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Lost Canyon Has New Direction

I have tasted the fine Pinot Noirs from this producer yearly for several years now, and have always been happy to recommend them. The 2006 vintage is no exception. The wines continue to exhibit impeccable balance but this vintage shows a drift toward more restraint and elegance, making them even more suitable for the dinner table.

Lost Canyon Winery was founded in 2001, and like many small new wineries, two of the founders, Jack States and Randy Keyworth, had a background in home winemaking for many years. A third founder, Bob Riskin brings his marketing expertise to the label. Production is small at 3,000 cases. The urban winery is located in a turn-of-the-century warehouse south of Jack London Square in Oakland, California.

The winery focuses on small-lot vineyard-designated Pinot Noir, Syrah and Viognier from vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Los Carneros appellations.

2006 Lost Canyon Dutton Ranch Morelli Lane Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., <575 cases, $42. · The nose is closed down but with swirling subtle aromas of strawberry, barnyard and wood spice emerge. Red berry fruits, a little baking spice, a hint of oak and herbs make up the flavor profile. A bit reserved and shallow and a touch of green on the backend. Need to try again in six months.

2006 Lost Canyon Las Brisas Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., <400 cases, $42. · Shy aromas of red and black fruits with grilled meat, smoke and iodine notes. Light in body and showing considerable finesse, the soft and demure red fruit has a gamey and smoky edge. There is a refreshing kick of acid on the finish. My least favorite.

2006 Lost Canyon Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., <525 cases, $42. Lost Canyon has accessed fruit from Saralee’s Vineyard since 2002 (actually three of Saralee’s vineyards including Richard’s Grove and Saralee Vineyard Block, Trenton Station Vineyard, and Catie’s Corner Vineyard). Clones are 115 and 777. · Lightest in color in the lineup. A charmer with nice scents of cherry pie, cream soda and smoke. Red cherry leads the red fruit parade complimented by cocoa and coconut notes. Elegant in style and marvelous in taste.

2006 Lost Canyon Widdoes Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., <350 cases, $42. The first year for this vineyard bottling. · Very demonstrable black cherry and candy cane aromas followed by showy and intense black cherry and blackberry fruit shot through with notes of wet oak and spice. A real charmer that is beautifully balanced with no intrusion of alcohol. The wine has enough acidity to compliment food beautifully.

Lost Canyon Winery is located at 2102 Dennison Street, Oakland. A nicely appointed tasting room is open at the winery daily. The wines are available on the website at Magnums and even Jeroboams of some wines are now available. The phone is 650-703-1496.

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