Producer Feature: Lingua Franca Wines
Hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather and the slow reopen of society again! With spring unfolding some exciting new releases have landed in our storefront.
Among these new arrivals are a couple of wines from Lingua Franca, an Eola-Amity Hills producer located in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. These folks know how to approach Burgundian-style winemaking in the New World. Sure, there’s a lot of great domestic wine out there, but when your domestic chardonnay could actually be mistaken for serious white Burgundy (I’ve seen it happen!), that’s a whole new level.
Lingua Franca has only been producing wines in the Willamette Valley for about five years, so you might have never heard of them. Originally their plans were to sell their fruit to other wineries. This was until the famed Dominique Lafon (stellar producer of white Burgundy) took notice of the killer vineyard site that the Lingua Franca proprietors had in their possession. Lafon convinced the estate to produce wine instead of simply selling their fruit, as he saw a bright future in Lingua Franca’s hills. In turn, one of Lafon’s winemaking protégé’s, Thomas Savre, also joined the Lingua Franca venture. Needless to say at this point they’ve got a lot going for them.
The wines we just brought in from Lingua Franca are the 2018 ‘The Plow’ Pinot Noir and their 2018 Estate Chardonnay. Both are quite impressive for the money and I’m pleased to recommend them to you.
You might be wondering at this point – ‘If you like red and white Burgundy so much, then why not just drink red and white Burgundy?’ The answer is, I would love to! However, both these wines, at $54.99 and $64.99 a bottle (for the Estate Chard and ‘The Plow’ Pinot, respectively) drink like $109.99 and $129.99 bottles of white and red Burgundy, respectively! If you can’t do the math my wallet can. And the profile of their wines are so refined and so well-tuned. They are like, total head-turners.
Lingua Franca has also been dedicated to sustainable farming practices from their inception. They utilize both organic and biodynamic methods of farming, there is no tillage in their vineyards (helps with erosion and supporting the microbiological communities in the soil), they use cover crops in their inter-planted areas to help with nutrient cycling and to diminish the use of fertilizers, and they encourage the nesting of hawks and owls to help keep predators at bay. They are clearly focused intently on both the wines they are making and the environment surrounding their vineyards.
While supplies last! Lingua Franca is an exceptional producer but their production volume is not massive. We might only have access to a few cases of their super special wines for this particular vintage release. Come stop by The Wine Connection to get access to perhaps some of the best domestic wine around – and that’s not an exaggeration in the slightest.