Triple 90-point California Chardonnay courtesy of the legendary Pisoni Family and Master Sommelier, Sara Floyd.
Everything the Pisoni family touches turns to gold, whether it’s their single-vineyard Pinot Noirs or Chardonnays, or their Estate bottlings, even their side hustles like this one. Pisoni made Burgundian varietals are the hottest tickets in Santa Lucia Highlands and have been for years, which is why Wine Spectator declared that one one else has enjoyed the same impact in the region.
Luli is the collaboration between the Pisoni family and the 10th female Master Sommelier ever in Sara Floyd. With Mark Pisoni growing the grapes and managing the vineyards, and Jeff Pisoni making the wine together with Sara Floyd.
Together, their ‘small little project’ aimed at cornering the market on high-quality, affordable California wines has taken off like crazy in its early tenure. It’s rare to see small-production wines like these for the price. Antonio Galloni calls them “terrific wines for the money. ” Ditto Jeb Dunnuck who calls them, “high-quality wines that won’t break the bank.” And Food & Wine Magazine who has included them in their “Best Wines $20 & Under” annual feature. Safe to say the project is a hit.
Luli is a collaboration between the Pisoni family and Master Sommelier Sara Floyd. “We are already set up to make fine wines here,” says Bibiana González Rave, the talented winemaker from Colombia who is married to Jeff Pisoni. “In Sonoma, every year the price of fruit is so much more expensive. If you really want the best quality, the price will be higher. Mark and Jeff are really fortunate to own and farm a lot of land themselves. This allows Luli to overdeliver. We know these farmers really well. The grapes are hand-farmed, hand-harvested and sorted; it’s rare to see small-production wines like these at this price point.” Mark Pisoni agrees, adding that “people are priced out, and they end up buying mass-produced grocery store wines, and that doesn’t turn them on to wine. Instead of putting that money into marketing, we put it into the wines and into better vineyards.” -Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
90 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
I loved the 2017 Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands, which comes from top sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands and was fermented and aged all in barrel. This beauty has textbook notes of pear and orchard fruits, lots of honeysuckle and white flowers, medium body, and a rounded yet vibrant texture. With terrific purity of fruit as well as balance, it’s an incredibly high-quality Chardonnay that more than over-delivers at the price. Buy some.
90 Points, Vinous
Brilliant yellow. Aromas of fresh peach and honeydew melon are given urgency by hints of chalky minerals and lemon pith. Juicy and seamless in texture, offering pliant melon and pit fruit flavors that slowly tighten up on the back half. Finishes silky and long, with a discreet floral note hanging on.
90 Points, Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2017 Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands has a quince, apricot and white peach-scented nose with notes of baker’s yeast, crushed stone and a unique laurel leaf nuance. Light to medium-bodied with concentrated honeyed stone fruits, it has juicy acidity to carry the flavorful finish.