Monday, May 28, 2018

Lucas & Lewellen's Hidden Asset

Hidden Asset refers to a wine, a red blend to be specific, that Lucas & Lewellen Estate Vineyards produces to honor their estate vineyards in Santa Barbara County - for this vintage the Los Alamos Vineyard and Valley View Vineyard.  The actual "Hidden Assets" are the grape varieties used in this unique blend, a kitchen sink of Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Franc. The percentages of each grape variety and vineyard source is proprietary information but the winery prints the percentages sourced from the four vineyard sites. Three ranches in the Los Alamos Vineyard account for 95% of the grapes as this area south of the town of Los Alamos along Highway 101 is home to over twenty grape varieties. And some of the vines are from cuttings brought over from Europe over 25 years ago. This region benefits from a "rare transverse mountain range topography, an east-west orientation which channels the cool ocean air of the Pacific into the coastal valleys, allowing warm days and cool nights to produce a long, gentle growing season". The same holds true for the Valley View Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley which rounds out the remaining 5%.  Primarily known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, blocks in this vineyard are planted with other Bordeaux varieties as well as Syrah.

2016 Santa Barbara Hidden Asset Red Wine ($29) - This is a delicious wine that remains vibrant over three days of tasting. It starts with spice and pepper, then leads to a strong cherry and raspberry profile, with spices returning for the long and moderately tannic finish.  Nicely done and at a decent price point. Cheers.

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