REBEL GRAPE SOCIETY

JUNE 2021

DEFINING LIEU DIT

 

Lieu Dits are all over France. It means “said place,” or “named place” and is a way to name a single, unblended site that has distinct attributes without being an official cru or AOC. It stems from France’s land register and is much more agile and flexible than something like a climat in Burgundy, which is a historical vineyard name born out of 2,000 years of debate and scrutiny. 

 

Here in the US, Lieu Dit Winery is something altogether different! Sommelier and wine retailer Eric Railsback (RN74, Michael Mina, Osteria Mozza, Les Marchands, Verve) joined forces with winemaker Justin Willet (Tyler Winery, Arcadian, Wenzlau) to launch the project in 2011. Together they aim to highlight Loire varieties grown in the cool microclimates and marine-based soils of Santa Barbara County. These grapes are native to a cooler part of France, and naturally achieve ripeness at lower sugars, resulting in a style of wine that is right in our wheelhouse: 



  • Lieu Dit’s Melon is a textbook example of their style. While many California white wines will have you rattling off tropical fruit flavors and leave you searching for more savory nuance, this Melon harkens to sur-lie-aged Muscadet showing upfront minerality, acid and texture.

 

  • Gamay Noir from the sandy loam soils of Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. Lieu Dit fermented this wine in open top tanks via ambient yeast with partial whole-cluster stem inclusion and whole berries in the fermentation following Cru Beaujolais style. It avoids the classic carbonic or bubblegum character that Gamay can sometimes show.

 

  • Lieu Dit’s Cab Franc comes from a block of massal-selection own-rooted vines planted in the Happy Canyon Vineyard on the eastside of Santa Ynez Valley. This vineyard’s clay loam soil and warmer microclimate develops intense flavor at lower sugars. The fruit is partially whole cluster fermented via native yeast and aged in neutral oak barrels, leading to a fresh, Loire-like style.



Kevin Wardell, June 2021

 

DOWNLOAD PDF OF TASTING NOTES HERE

 

LIEU DIT
MELON DE BOURGOGNE

Santa Maria Valley
California 2019

LIEU DIT
GAMAY NOIR

Santa Maria Valley
California 2016

LIEU DIT
CABERNET FRANC

Santa Ynez Valley
California 2019
WINE SMARTS.

WINE SMARTS.

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