Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.





Lacuna is a winery I “found” only because Morgan Twain-Peterson is their wine maker.  This would have probably gone unnoticed until Morgan’s name jumped out at me.  Morgan Twain-Peterson is the owner/winemaker for Bedrock Wine Company.  He also is the son of Joel Peterson of Ravenswood fame.


Don’t miss the special deal the winery is offering below in the Special Bonus Offer area. 


The Winery

Our small partnership group is comprised of 3 industry friends.  None of us with any claim to fame so our names remain in the background behind our rock-star winemaker!  One of us operates a Burgundy and Bordeaux import company, the other two of us are active in the sales and marketing efforts of several wineries in California.  We’ve all worked as wine consultants.  I have worked as a sommelier in what now seems like a past life!  We all have young children and work very hard to balance the demands of juggling multiple jobs (including Lacuna) with being attentive fathers.  We are fortunate to work in our field of passion and interest and feel absolutely privileged to have the talents of Morgan Twain-Peterson on board.  He is just as enjoyable of a person as he is talented a winemaker!


The Wine

The 2010 is a slightly atypical wine for Lacuna.  We experimented with a much higher percentage of Petite Sirah(42%)  from 120 year old Sonoma vines than we ever had before and likely will ever again.  Not that we were entirely unhappy with the result but given our cool vineyard sources for our Syrah, Lacuna certainly exists in a more savory band-width than many other wines based on this varietal.  Our goal that year was to add some structure to the wine which philosophically all the partners at Lacuna agree is one of the cornerstones of serious red wine.  The classic European wines that we are drawn to all have an elevated element of structure (both acid and tannin).  The old vine Petite was a successful addition to achieve this but our discovery was that it sent the wine in a backwards direction on the palate took quite some time to get to an optimal “drinkability” state.  In subsequent vintages we used techniques like whole cluster fermentations with our Syrah to achieve desired levels of spice and added structure.  We found this to work ideally for us in every way and have continued with high percentages of stem inclusion in the ’11, ’12 & ’13 vintages.





2010 Lacuna Wines Proprietary Red Blend – $28.99

This is a blend of 58% cool climate Syrah and 42% Petite Sirah from 120 year old vines.


The wine has 14.3% alcohol by volume and the bottle is closed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep purple color.  The very powerful nose has blackberries, smoked meat, dying wood embers, licorice, roasted herbs, dried violets, blueberries, warm baking spices, vanilla, black peppercorns, and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has a full body, a solid wall of tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the smoked meat, pepper and roasted herbs initially grab hold before slowly and reluctantly allowing some fruit and spice to enter the picture.  On the back end the smoked meat and wood embers re-emerge.  The finish is surprisingly long with layers of tannins clinging to your palate.  Give this monster a few years in the cellar or as they say, “serve it with a slab of rare brontosaurus”.  (94 pts)

2010 Lacuna Wines Proprietary Red Blend

2010 Lacuna Wines Proprietary Red Blend


In Summary

Don’t open this expecting a soft, fruity, easy drinking California Syrah, you’ll be disappointed.  If you set your sights on a big, meaty, chewy Northern Rhone bottle of Syrah, you won’t be disappointed.  The large Petite Sirah content adds considerable muscle to this wine and helps push the fruit component a little into the background.  The fruit is there, just not up front and in your face.  In my opinion, this is very drinkable today with a chunk of rare to medium rare meat, but I like a solid wall of tannins.  That said, this will be much better down the road.  If you can, stash this in the back of your cellar for a few years, you will be very handsomely rewarded for your patience.


Special Bonus Offer

This wine was previously thought to be sold out but the partners found a few cases in their personal “library stash”.  The wine is not on their website, but is available to readers of Cliff’s Wine Picks.  The wine is available for $28.99 a bottle (plus shipping and applicable taxes) by e-mailing info@lacunawines.com.   That price is the same as the winery’s current release.  Like I said, this wine is not available on the winery’s website.  This is coming from their personal library and is available only via this offer.




Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.




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Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.






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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.