As we roll on in Oregon Wine Month we bring you a wonderful Oregon wine project many years in the making. Lingua Franca begins with their estate vineyard, located between the Lone Star, Jerusalem Hills and Seven Springs vineyards. It is a truly sensational site. Larry Stone, MS, previously managed wine portfolios for Francis Ford Coppola as well as Augustin Huneeus before founding Lingua Franca with David Honig. After rigorous negotiations, the land for Lingua Franca was finally purchased in late 2012.
In late 2014, Dominique Lafon of Evening Land Fame indicated that he would be interested in collaborating on the project and the team began work together in February of 2015. At time that Lafon protégé, Thomas Savre, also came aboard as he had a wealth experience in some of the most illustrious wineries in Burgundy. Thomas served as assistant winemaker at Evening Land before being promoted as winemaker for Lingua Franca. He has just a spectacular new lineup of wines from the more restrained 2017 vintage. In comparison to his 2016 wines, these 2017s lean slightly towards elegance — and are every bit as good as the last years releases. One of the great Oregon Chardonnays that I have tried in the past yeear, the 2017 Lingua Franca ‘Bunker Hill’ Chardonnay (WWB, 94) has incredible range and brightness. This is sure to satisfy any lover of Oregon Chardonnay. His 2017 Lingua Franca ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 94) is just as good, showing incredible red fruit and citrus tones, with earthy nuances rounding out this sensational new wine. Learn more about Lingua Franca at https://www.linguafranca.wine Here are the beautiful new releases by Lingua Franca.
2017 Lingua Franca ‘Avni’ Chardonnay- The 2017 ‘Avni’ Chardonnay opens with bright lemon zest with kiwi and melon tones that connect with the wet stone character on then nose. The palate reveals good freshness and intensity with gobs of lip-smacking acidity. Bright citrus and orchard fruits parade with minerals on the palate. Delicious now, this will evolve well over the next decade. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2017 Lingua Franca ‘Bunker Hill’ Chardonnay- The Bunker Hill Vineyard was planted in 1995 and is located in the Salem Hills as it has a very strong maritime influence from strong Pacific Ocean winds that move winds through the Van Duzer corridor. The 2017 Lingua Franca ‘Bunker Hill’ Chardonnay is a terrific new release wine by this talented winemaking team. The nose evokes toasty brioche with wild mushroom and green apple that all combine in the glass. The palate unveils a silky texture and a bright minerality. Kumquat, green papaya and shades of white truffle with earthy undertones round out this outstanding flavor range. This finishes exceedingly long with lemon cream and minerals. Highly Burgundian and downright thrilling now, this highly nuanced Chardonnay will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2019-2032- 94
2017 Lingua Franca ‘Avni’ Pinot Noir-The ‘Avni’ Pinot Noir by Lingua Franca opens with toasty oak that wraps around bright red fruits with earthy and citrus rind tones, all melding together in the glass. The palate has beautiful balance, showing a smooth texture and a bright acidity. Intense red fruits collide with minerals and hints of blood orange zest with peat moss on the palate. The long, earthy and red fruit-driven finish lingers. While marvelous in its youth, this has at least a decade ahead of it. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2017 Lingua Franca ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir by Lingua Franca is an exceedingly good new wine. The nose is highly gratifying with peat moss and white truffle shavings that combine with cran-pomegranate and red cherry candy on the seductive nose. The palate has a seamless quality that shines as red and dark fruits dance with the earthy and citrus rind tones. A stunning new wine, this will cellar well over the next fifteen years. Drink 2019-2033- 94