Laetitia Vineyard & Winery has the largest privately owned plantings of pinot noir in California, comprising 434 acres that overlook the Pacific Ocean in the cool coastal region of southern San Luis Obispo County. This pinot noir-focused winery consistently produces one of California’s best value-priced, sustainably produced and estate-grown pinot noirs.
Winemaker Eric Hickey began his training in the cellar at Laetitia, at the tender age of 16, and has lived and breathed Laetitia all the way to head winemaker and the winery’s president. His pinot noirs are built upon finding balance, finesse, and the essence of the fruit he has come to know for so many years.
As you probably know, I am a pinot geek and have the opportunity to drink many great California pinots that cost upward of $125. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this wine, remarkable for its quality given its 32,000 case production, and I highly recommend it for everyday drinking. Try it with stir-fried five-spice pork with lettuce cups or grilled wild Alaska king salmon with shitake and pinot noir sauce.
The wine is fragrant with aromas of plum reduction sauce, boysenberry, blackberry, spice, and vanilla, offering a mouthful of well-spiced purple berry fruits in a mid-weight style with a hint of savory tea and earth in the background. Very satisfying and expansive on the palate, the wine sports a fruit-driven, lengthy finish of note. No need to cellar this beauty.
The 2013 Laetitia Estate Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir retails for $25, but can be found discounted at multiple retail locations in Orange County including Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa and Rite-Aid.