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Lula Cellars of Anderson Valley Introduces 2016 and 2017 Releases

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New Wines from Mendocino County Label Include Rescue Block Pinot Noir, the 1st Anderson Valley Pinot Noir to Feature Grapes from Their Own Vineyard, and a Rosé and Gewurztraminer That are Harbingers of Summer

Lula CellarsANDERSON VALLEY, CA – (May 9, 2018) – Lula Cellars is an independent ultra-premium winery located in Northern California’s Anderson Valley, producing small batch award-winning wines made exclusively from Mendocino grapes. Their location in the “Deep End” of the valley, in the coolest climate where wine grapes can be commercially grown, has chilly morning fog that evaporates in the strong afternoon sun, ripening grapes slowly and paying dividends in the form of elegant wines with subtle yet concentrated flavors. Lula Cellars is thrilled to introduce this year’s six releases, with the 2017 Rosé and 2017 Gewürztraminer being the first releases for Lula’s new Winemaker Matt Parish, a heralded winemaker with more than two decades of global winemaking experience. For those that want a taste of the new Pinot Noir releases, Lula will be pouring the 2016 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir at the Grand Tasting during the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival on May 19, and all four new Pinots at their Pinot Fest Open House event on May 20.

The inaugural 2016 Rescue Block Pinot Noir ($60) is a medium red purple wine with a long pleasant finish, sourced from vines discovered on Lula’s 22-acre property. When Lula purchased the property that would become their vineyard and tasting room, they were told that in spite of the soil and climate being similar to Burgundy, France (and thus perfect for growing Pinot Noir), grapes had never been planted on the land. They were therefore very surprised as they were clearing blackberry bushes and volunteer oak seedlings to find 1,000 vines lying on the ground. The vines were parched and neglected and had never been attached to trellis wire. Always up for a challenge, they put the vines on trellises and nursed them back to life. Clone, age and rootstock of these Pinot Noir vines is unknown, but the fruit from the “rescued” vines turned out to yield an exceptional wine, with ripe raspberry and red cherry fruit complexities. For every bottle sold, a portion of the proceeds goes to local animal rescue organizations in honor of Honey, their tasting room greeter, a rescue dog who is mostly yellow lab with a pinch of Rhodesian Ridgeback. They made only 100 cases of 2016 Rescue Block Pinot Noir, so this wine is reserved for their wine club members. 

The 2016 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($39) is the first to feature grapes off of Lula’s own 15-acre vineyard, which was planted on a gently sloping hillside adjacent to Highway 128. Using a variety of superior Dijon-sourced clones, the vines were meticulously grown to produce high quality grapes with full-bodied flavor. The wine displays classic varietal dark red berry fruit aromas, a generous palate with supple tannins that leads to an elegant finish. This expressive, fruit-forward Pinot Noir is tasty now, but it will develop greater nuance with another 3-5 years of bottle age.

The 2016 Costa Vineyard Pinot Noir ($45) marks their fourth release of this single vineyard wine. The five-acre Costa vineyard, planted in 1998, is located in the mountain town of Comptche, 700 feet above sea level. The deep-routed vines have taken on the earthy character of the soil and produce wines with fresh, pure aromas and bright flavors. Dark red in color, the wine exhibits aromas of wild

berries and spice. The palate is generous, with lovely soft full tannins. While delicious right now, it will continue to develop complexity with another 3-5 years of bottle aging. 

The Peterson Vineyard is also located in Comptche in the temperate region close to the coast. Lula’s 2016 Peterson Vineyard Pinot Noir ($45) is blend of four different clones that were planted there in 1999. Each lot of these clones was harvested and fermented separately to maximize its unique character. The wine is the perfect balance between opulent fruit and delightful acidity.  It has a dark red color, aromas of ripe raspberries and cherries and a vibrant full palate supported by long, supple tannins from the oak and fruit. The wine will become more complex over the next 3-5 years. This single vineyard Pinot Noir is sold exclusively to wine club members.

2016 was a gift to all of Lula’s Pinots – a year of bountiful rains, followed by a warm spring and a classic long California summer. With balanced crop loads, all of our vines thrived and returned deeply flavorful, richly colored wines.

Summer begs for lively wines such as the 2017 Rosé and 2017 Gewürztraminer, the first releases from new winemaker Matt Parish. Both wines are terrific as aperitifs and refresh the palate with every sip, but they also play well with food, making them ideal choices to toast the warmer weather over a meal with friends al fresco. 

The 2017 Gewurztraminer ($24) was created from grapes sourced from a single block on the beautiful Day Ranch Vineyard, located just outside the tiny town of Philo. This Gew tastes dry but carries higher acidity, making it “off-dry”— with a sweetness that develops. Redolent of citrus and stone fruit, with a perfect balance of crispness to juicy sweetness, it goes well with Asian or Alsatian food. Eminently drinkable now, it will also develop nicely in the bottle over the next couple of years.

Hand-harvested grapes were pressed gently to produce the delicate aromas, subtle flavors and pale color of the 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir ($26). Reminiscent of a wine from Provence, but with more acidity and finesse, this wine loves food. The grapes were sourced from the Green Ranch, which sits high above the Anderson Valley on a mountain plateau, at an altitude that is perfect for the mature field blend of Pinot Noir clones that went into this Rosé. Dry and delicious, it has a clean finish and a vibrant floral berry nose. This wine is best in its youth and should be chilled and enjoyed now.

A great way to explore all of Lula’s wines is to stop into the tasting room on Sunday, May 20th when their tasting room will hold an open house in conjunction with the 21st Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival (May 18-20, 2018). The three-day festival focuses on wines made from Pinot Noir grapes grown exclusively in Anderson Valley and includes a Grand Tasting, Winemaker Dinner, and technical workshops for winemakers. On Sunday, May 20th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as part of the celebration, Lula’s tasting room will be serving savory small bites including apple bacon wrapped blue cheese stuffed dates, slices of grilled chicken sausage with a spicy chutney dipping sauces and Matos St. Jorge cheese and crackers.

About Lula Cellars

Lula Cellars is a small production, ultra-premium label located in Anderson Valley’s Deep End. With an annual case production of around 3,000 cases, the focus of Lula Cellars is Estate and Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs and Single Vineyard offerings from the greater Mendocino County, California. Since 2010, Lula Cellars has built a reputation of integrity, positive customer relations and stellar wines. The goal of Lula Cellars is simple: to produce quality, world-class wines of great value and sell them directly to consumers through their tasting room and website. Founding winemaker Jeff Hansen, a twenty-eight-year wine industry veteran, named Lula Cellars for his maternal grandmother Lula, who was born in 1879 and lived to the age of 89. In June 2017, Lula Cellars announced Matt Parish as the new winemaker for Lula Cellars. The Lula Cellars Tasting Room is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. No reservations required. 2800 Guntly Rd, Philo, CA 95466, 707.895.3737, www.lulacellars.com

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