Lost Canyon 2013 Pinot Noir Whitton Vineyard

Produced and Bottled by Lost Canyon Winery, Cloverdale, CA; 14.4% ABV
Whitton Vineyard, Russian River Valley, CA
$7.99 at the San Diego (Oceanside), CA, store on 31 December

What’s this? Low production (<300 cases), single vineyard, 100% legit, 100% true to Russian River Valley AVA and varietally correct Pinot at a phenomenal price point?

20171231_185044This wine, for me, is one of the first wines from GO in a very long time that epitomizes GO deals of old (or maybe that certain Bay Area stores still get in limited quantities but that San Diego gets very little to none of) – $40-50 MSRP bottles at 10-20% of the cost, that actually drink well at their original price point, and when you taste it, feel like you stole money from the local GO operators. Right…the wine…

The wine is reasonably structured throughout with a touch of cherry cola and smoke on the nose and is pretty full (really medium) bodied. It tastes predominantly of dark fruit – cherry? – with quite a bit of acid and light to low-moderate tannins to balance what is a nice, smooth (yes, the wine descriptor of the year) mouthfeel. It reminds me strongly of Iron Horse from what I have had. It is not overly complex but it is integrated beginning to end and if anything, it is a bit high acid for me (though mouthfeel is fairly soft) and a touch sour. The fruit could definitely come through more (there is no juiciness or fruitiness here) but this isn’t overly muted, nor is the wine compromised by my wishing for a bit more fruit in the mid palate. It makes me think and ponder the last time I had a RRV Pinot this good (I don’t buy $40+ wine, period). This is a very well made wine for what it brings and at $8 is a screaming bargain.

I wish I could report how this fared after 2 or 3 hours but it lasted 30 minutes and did not transform much in that time, aside from most of the heat blowing off the nose having been vinturid into glasses. I blew off houseguests to write this review quickly. If you’re looking for defects, they are there but they are almost not even worth discussing given the price point. I’ll be returning Tuesday to buy a case immediately, and I haven’t done that from GO in years. I’m excited to hear any and all opinions by our loyal contributors if any of you finds this and look forward to any and all discussion that follows.




16 thoughts on “Lost Canyon 2013 Pinot Noir Whitton Vineyard

  1. Dickoz

    I tried the Lost Canyon Morelli Lane pinot noir over 3 nights. Lots of oak on the nose but very well integrated into the flavor of the wine. Medium bodied with some complexity. This wine could use more fruit on the palate and has a short finish. That said, for $8 it represents good value for Russian River pinot noir.

  2. BargainWhine

    Hi all. Of the three Lost Canyon 2013 Pinots, I tasted the Dutton Ranch ($10) over two days, and the Whitton Vineyard ($8) over about three hours. My recollections are that the Dutton had more stuffing and complexity, showing rich, ripe, dark cherry fruit, earthy baking spice. The Whitton was more hard and elegant, not as obviously complex, slowly opening somewhat to more purplish fruit. It was pretty good the first day, and it would have been nice to taste some the second. I thought both wines were very good buys, and got a couple Duttons to lay down for at least a few years.

  3. John

    The Morelli is easily as good Balliwick. Both are best QPRs. The chardonnay is totally done in white burgundy style, not often seen on the North Coast. I’ve had Ridge chard made in a similar fashion. Compared to most of the usual offerings these are 2 thumbs up for me.

    1. Darrell

      Glenn, there is some 2012 Gabriel Meffre Gigondas Sainte-Catherine at the Lemmon GO for $15 pre-sale. A little funky at first, but disappears on sitting.

  4. Zoel

    Yes, Lost Canyon is a side-project from Fritz, who are pretty accomplished winemakers. I tried the Chard last night, and was reasonably impressed – well-made RRV juice, decently balanced and a reasonable (GO) value at $8. Bought at SRosa store…saw a “Ken’s Wine” review of the Chard, and he was spot-on.

  5. seedboy

    This winery was originally in Oakland. Fritz bought it many years ago. I’ve tasted all three wines. I don’t have detailed notes but the one reviewed was my favorite. These wines are not nearly as good as the Bailiwick pinots but they are pretty good.

  6. Don Bevins

    Also a Dutton Vineyard PN and Morelli Vineyard from Lost Canyon. Dutton a double gold at Sonoma harvest Fair and the other two gold medal winners. The Dutton Was $9.99 at Roseville Square but is long gone. The label was bought up by Fritz Winery. There is also a chardonnay under the Lost Canyon label out there.

    1. BeerBudget

      Picked up a half case of the Lost Canyon Morelli Lane Vineyard after trying it. Also tried the Fritz Dry Creek Zinfandel, which was good but not a screaming re-buy.


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