Longoria Wines: Handcrafted from Santa Barbara

Longoria Wines

Richard Longoria started his winemaking at Buena Vista Vineyard under the tutelage of California winemaking legend Andre Tchelischeff. In 1997, 23 years later, he and his wife Diana established their own winery in Santa Barbara County, and in 1998 he planted Pinot Noir vines at his first vineyard, Fe Ciega, that is now the source of one of his most outstanding wines. His wines are handcrafted and made in small quantities.

Longoria 2007 Chardonnay Cuvée Diana, Santa Rita Hills ($36) 89

The Cuvée Diana reveals elegance from the start. It has a wonderful floral and spicy bouquet with nuances of toasted oak. Creamy on the attack with a citrus fruit palate, good acidity and a crisp finish. Sourced mainly from the Rancho Santa Rosa Vineyard. Whole cluster pressed and fermented in French oak with another 10 months sur lie.

Longoria 2007 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley ($45) 89

The dark ruby purple Bien Nacido Pinot Noir shows an attractive mix of fresh fruit and earth. Aromas of spicy red and black fruit are followed a velvety smooth attack of flavorful black cherry and red raspberry. Nicely balanced with round tannins and notable acidity on the finish. Produced from a 30 year old block of the vineyard that yields under 2 tons per acre. Only 124 cases made.

Longoria 2007 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills ($45) 90

The silky smooth, medium ruby garnet Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir is elegant and silky smooth. There are light, delicate spicy red fruit and notes of clove on the nose and light cherry and spice flavors and juicy acidity on the palate. Source mostly from the Rancho Santa Rosa Vineyard. 117 cases made.

Longoria 2006 Pinot Noir Fe Ciega Vineyard Santa Rita Hills ($54) 91

This single vineyard, dark ruby purple Pinot Noir is one our very favorites from Santa Barbara county. Aromas of ripe black cherry give way to a soft and creamy texture on the nicely concentrated and focused palate with delicious black cherry fruit, excellent balance and good tannic grip. This is a big shouldered wine that can benefit from time in the bottle. Produced from low-yielding vines of 2.3 tons per acre.

Longoria 2006 Syrah Alisos Vineyard Santa Barbara Valley ($34) 90

The Alisos Vineyard Syrah is an attractive, dark ruby wine of tongue-coating blackberry fruit with notes of violets, baking spice and tar. It has a soft, supple palate and a persistent finish of round, ripe tannins. Only 172 cases made.

Longoria 2006 Syrah Clover Creek Vineyard Santa Ynez Vallley ($28) 91

A beautifully balanced, dark ruby Syrah with a rich, fleshy character, this is our favorite of Longoria’s distinguished Syrah wines. There are cherries, plum and spice on the nose. Soft and round in the mouth, there’s impressively pure fruit flavors of black currant and black cherry with black pepper and toasted oak notes. Very approachable now.

i-WineReview.com - September 2009