Tag-Archive for ◊ Lionheart ◊

02 Feb 2010 2008 Syrah blending trials

Recently, I did some blending trails with my two lots of Syrah from 2008.  The two lots are from the Thompson vineyard and White Hawk vineyard in Santa Barbara County.  The goal of the blending trial was to see if the wines were ready to make the primary blend of the two and/or would I need to bottle them seperately.  Thankfully, the two syrahs (each made as a blending component of a Santa Barbara County Syrah) are complimentary to each other.

2008 White Hawk Vineyard, Syrah, Santa Barbary County
App -> opaque black w/purple hues core changes to a purple rim
Nose -> Medium+ intensity aromas of black fruit, black olive, dried herbs, boysenberry
Palate -> Medium+ tannins (fine-grained with a hint of green tannins on finish), high acidity; medium+ intensity flavors of black fruit, violets, fresh raspberry (frambiose), blackberry, earth, cherry; medium+ alcohol, long length

2008 Thompson Vineyard, Syrah, Santa Barbara County
App -> opaque black/purple hues core changes to a purple rim
Nose -> pronounced intensity aromas of toasted espresso, milk chocolate
Palate -> Medium+ Alcohol; pronounced flavors of black fruit, bramble berries, spicy red fruit, light sulphur note (from recent sulphur addition) red grapefruit on finish

The blending trials consisted of 50% Thompson / 50% White Hawk to get a baseline to see how the two complimented each other — quite positive! — followed by blending with different amounts of Viognier, Grenache and/or Mourvedre.  The result of the trial for the primary blend turned out to be 49.5% Thompson / 49.5% White Hawk / 1% Catie’s Corner Viognier.  The primary blend will be completed and put back into neutral barrel as the wine does not need anymore tannins to round out the wine.  The small amount of Viognier does a great job of enhancing the aromatics and softening the strong tannins from the Thompson Syrah (it was in a new barrel with med+ toast). 

Primary blend
App-> opaque black/purple core transitioning to a purple rim
Nose -> Medium+ intensity aromas of black fruit(olive, cherry, cassis), blueberry, earth, red floral, apricot (slight from viognier)
Palate -> High tannins (soft), pronounced intensity flavors of black olive, sweet olive plant flowers, boysenberry, blueberry, currant, warm spice on finish; long length, high acidity, pronounced concentration

The primary blend with re-evaluated in 5 weeks to see how the blend is settling down.  The goal is to bottle the wine sooner rather than later to maintain the excellent aromas and flavors.  I think it will be a very good wine which will need 12 to 18 months in the bottle before it really starts to open up.  The wine is very big with an elegant and complexity to it.  I am very excited to see what it turns into!

12 Nov 2009 Blending 2008 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir…worth the effort!
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Yesterday, I did a blending trial for the 2008 Lionheart Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir to get ready for the secondary blending to be done.  I am hoping to bottle the Pinot Noir in the next two weeks — it will not be ready for Thanksgiving unfortunately.

I did 12 blending trials with various combinations of barrels and pinot noir single clone blending wines from the two vineyards I get Pinot Noir from — Bohemian (Freestone / Russian River) and Split Rock/Gaps Crown (Sonoma Coast).  Behemian is right next to the Sonoma Coast border so I just call it a Sonoma Coast AVA blend.  The style of the wine is more appropriate for a Sonoma Coast than a Russian River Pinot Noir.

The blend that I really liked is made up of equal parts from each barrel (90% of total volume), 8% 777 clone from Split Rock vineyard, and 2% 667 from Split Rock vineyard.  The blending session was very interesting for the following reasons: 1) the use of a single clone wine can have a massive change on the overall quality, balance and flavor profile; for example: a 1% shift of the 667 clone was very noticable, 2) 777 clone adds a great deal of body, red fruit flavors and helps extend the finish of the wine quite a bit, 3) aromatics of 667 are very good and are huge contributors to a complex Pinot Noir’s aromatic profile, 4) Pinot Noir is very sensative to chemistry shifts in the wine — aromatics and flavors shift very quickly with a slight acidity and pH adjustment, and 5) lower alcohol Pinot Noir has a much complex flavor and palate profile.

The tasting notes for the 2008 Lionheart Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, blend are:
Appearance: bright, deep+ ruby with violet core transitioning to ruby rim
Nose: clean, medium+ intensity aromas of black fruit (cherry, blackberry), blue fruit (blue berry and hint of boysenberry), hint of cotton candy, light cola, warm spices, red fruit (strawberry, cherry, raspberry) and oak
Palate: high acidity; medium tannins (soft, fine-grained but will need time in bottle to turn to velvety texture), medium alcohol, medium+ concentration, pronounced intensity flavors of blueberry, currant (red and black), cranberry, strawberry, violets, raspberry, black fruit(cherry and blackberry), warm spices on finish; long finish

The 2008 Pinot Noir will be going on sale as futures in the next week or so.  The actual release of the wine will not happen until spring of next year.  But, I might have some samples available at Thanksgiving dinner!

25 Oct 2008 Speed tasting at the Wine Bloggers Conference

Yesterday, my wife, Jen, and I poured our 2007 McGinley Vineyard, Roussanne from Santa Barbara at the “Live blogging” event at the first annual Wine Bloggers Conference

The format was the following: each winemaker had 5 minutes to pour 1 wine, talk about the wine and answer any questions the bloggers at the table had, then 1 minute to move to the next table to repeat the process 16 times!  The format was a bit rushed but it made me focus on the important elements of the wine and the Lionheart brand.  It was effective at helping to get out the brand name and raise awareness of our wines.  Clearly, wine bloggers influence is on the rise as they reach more and more people everyday!  Maybe next year, this winemaker will be a blogger at the conference as well reporting on some lovely wines.

The Live Blogging event was a very good experience and looking forward to doing it again next year.   I would suggest a couple of things to the organizers for next year: 1) Give a bit more time for tasting, questions, etc; 2) Try to spread out the table in two rooms to help keep the noise level down as I nearly lost my voice having to shout for one and half hours to get anyone to hear me, 3) It might be a bit easier on the bloggers palates to start with whites in a staggered start, 4) cheese and/or bread should be provided to the bloggers to help clear their palates, 5) two glasses — one for white and one for red, and 6) allow time for bloggers to follow up and meet with the wineries before the next event on the schedule.

We got some fantastic comments/blog entries for people that tried the Roussanne.  The comments will be posted below with links to the appropriate blog entries:

Wine Dude Blog

Lionheart Wines 07 McGinley Vineyard Rousanne (wow… really?).   There going for overall balance (my kind of winemakers! :-) .   Stirred on the lees in nuetral French oak barrels.   The nose is OFF THE CHART!   Kiwi, tropical fruits, and flowers all over the place.   Totally killer.


Anything Wine Blog

2007 Lionheart McGinley Vinyeard Rousanne ($33) from Santa Barbara County. Nose - Key Lime pie, honey with hints of orange zest Taste – nice minerality and apple with citrus and tropical tree fruit. This is a great wine, a bit pricey, although if you get the club price it is $23. Wow the winemaker just said they are only prodcuing 275 cases of wine.


Caveman Wine Blog

Wine #9 – A Roussane 2007 McGinley Vineyards from Lionheart Wines. Not usually a fan, but this is nice. Bright apple and pear. Kiss of oak. First verture with wine. $30 retail. 275 cases total of everything. Wow! Their website is www.lionheartwines.com.


CheapWineRatings.com Blog

Lionheart Wines

Banana, peach and tropical aromas.   Nice crisp acidity and good roundness from malolactic fermentation–giving it a creamy mouth feel.  Nice long finish with a touch of minerality.

Wine: Lionheart Wines
Varietal: Roussanne
Vintage: 2007
Rating: 89
Price: $30


Lenndevours Blog

Lionheart Wines 2007 McGinley Vineyard Roussanne. Sweet lemon preserves. Some florality. Nice and creamy-pineapple mid-palate and flowers and citrus on the finish. Really nice. Made at crushpad. (4:06 p.m.)


Millennial Wino Blog

Wine 9

Lionheart Wines – what do we have here? A Roussane. I’ve never had a Roussane. It’s light and airy, not a wine that I would necessarily choose off a list of shelf. Think a hot day on the deck – nice and refreshing. It’s an old world grape – made in somewhat the old world style.- old world, not what you’d expect here in California. trpoical fruit, smooth without being flat, and has enough acidity to pair with foods – this would be great with 


My Daily Wine Blog

Lionheart Wines 2007 Roussanne
lemon curd and pineapple on the nose, some viscosity in the mouth, full bodied, ripe apricots in the mouth, light golden color, creamy with a good acid on the finish. $30


My Wine Education Blog


kevingerl:  2007 Lionheart Roussaane from McGinley Valley. A self taught winemaker


kevingerl:  On lies for 10 months in neutral french oak with ml fermentation. Recco with grilled fish/pork or Hawaiian pizza. Salt from ham works well with the wine. This is nice tart without a lot of acid. I think it’s a drink soon but overall :->



kevingerl:  275 cases total across 4 different grape wines


Ablegrape Blog

2007 Roussanne, Lionheart Wines. M, youthful, peach, floral, hints of wax and lychee, and a creamy note (100% malo, says winemaker). Pretty nose. Full bodied, with medium-high acidity, medium-plus alcohol, creamy mouthfeel, and a pleasantly long, grapefruity finish. Dig this. The winemaker, Leon Glover, said he’s going for a “distinctive, bold” wine, and I’d say he succeeded.


Dr. Xeno’s Wine Blog

6.  2007 Lionheart Wines Santa Barbara County McGinley Vineyard Roussane

OK.  Only 26 cases…get some now!!
C: lighter golden straw

N: Great pear and peach, followed by some wonderful pineapple and blossoms of florals. Some creaminess and lemon custard here too.

P: Full-bodied with intense pineapple flavors that seem sweet and yet the wine finishes nicely crisp with a little cream underneath and further tropical fruit from the nose.  Very good!




Lionheart 2007 Roussanne… tastes like a chick wine (ha!)… very summer-y, nice, poolside by the bottle good times.. tropical – key lime!



drXeNo YO YO! Lion heart! mmmmmm #ttl about 16 hours ago from twhirl in reply to drXeNo


@Oenophilus YO YO! Whazzup! Where you be at! #wbc about 16 hours ago from twhirl in reply to Oenophilus


275 Cases! Out of Crushpad. I heart @crushpad!!!! #ttl about 16 hours ago from twhirl


LIonheart roussane has a very carmellly characteristic. Creamy custard. mmmmm #wbc about 16 hours ago from twhirl


2007 Lionheart Rousanne lemon, tropical fruit…guava? peach #wbc about 16 hours ago from twhirl



The Wine Case Blog

Lionheart Wines

2007 McGinley Vineyard Roussanne from Santa Barbara County, clocking in at 14,47% alcohol. Nice peachy, exotic aromas, with a touch of almonds. Nice mouthful, with decent acidity holding it together well. Little bitterness on the back end – from the maceration on the skins, says the winemaker. I like it. 10 months in French Oak. I’ve found many California Roussannes to go overboard, but this holds itself together well, and I think it could even age for a few years, like the best from the Rhône. Well-done.


Vine Views by Jared Skolnick

2007 Lionheart Wines McGinley Vineyards Rousanne ($30).  Winemaker is a self-taught chef and winemaker.  I would absolutely mistake this for a Viognier in a blind tasting (asssuming I was even close that day!)  The floral notes on the nose are more indicative of the Rousanne, but the fruit notes are very much like Viognier.  The palate is well banaced, but is a little light on acid.  The finish is a bit flat without the crisp acids.


Vineyard Adventures Blog

*Lionheart Wines 100% Rousanne – Tropical fruit – pineapple, good acidity, light handed oak, on lees for 10 months. Best pairing according to the winery is hawaiian pizza. I would tend to agree. The flavors match with the pineapple and the acidity is strong enough to be cleansing to the palate. $30


What a Trip Blog – Nancy D Brown 

Lionheart Wines  Leon C. Glover, owner/winemaker is sharing his 2007 Roussanne from Santa Barbara County.  If you like hawaiian style pizza, Glover said, “it sounds kind of stange, but it’s really a good match.” You can purchase the wine, which retails for $30, on-line at www.lionheartwines.com


Winecast Blog

lionheart roussanne 2007 – white pear/mandarin orange/honey aromas… full, rich pineapple fruit with lychee on the finish; very good #wbc about 17 hours ago from web


http://winefactsblog.com/2008/10/  (go back to it in a few days) 


Loves Wine Blog

4:16 Pacific time. 45 mins into the “live blogging” I’m on.
Lionheart Roussane — a white crisp wine. Pale straw. Pleasing amount of fruit, Well balanced, nothing overwhelms. Sells for about $30. Clean fresh tart fruit on the nose. I would enjoy this, esp. in warm weather, 


Wine Peeps Blog
2007 Lionheart Wines McGinley Vineyard Roussanne (
Santa Barbara County, California): Lime, pear, and floral aromas. Pineapple and lemon also come through on the palate. Crisp acidity and a bit creamy. Good mouthfeel. Smooth finish. Very refreshing.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
Price: $30


Wine Enabler.com Blog

Lionheart Wine 2007 – This is a 100% Roussane with lots of varietal character – grilled pineapple, melon, and a little apple in the nose. In the mouth, this is a full bodied wine. Twenty months on the lees give this Rhone style wine an added level of complexity. It seems a little overdone, but we liked it anyway. ($30) 3.5-stars


Wine Scholarship Blog

Long break for some reason there. Now we have lioneart wines with a 2007 Roussanne from Santa Barbara County. This has a nice balance between fruit and spice. I get some nutmeg here. The fruit is pretty tropical here, pineapple and stuff like that. I can’t really write anymore about this. They’re saying this is the last wine and I’m thankful.


Winesleuth’s Weblog

Lionheart wine ‘07 Roussane- the winemakers said that they were looking to make a balanced wine, higher in acidity then most, 100 percent roussane from Santa Barbera County, nose of orange blossom, tropical fruits, on the lees, lovely fruit upfront, tropical pineapple, creamy, bit of minerality, caramilized pineapple, lovely, great example of white Rhone vatietal, slightly nutty.