It was a pleasure being at a wine tasting with Brian Loring at The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. One could feel his passion for wine making and his ability to start a new career. He got his start in 1997 helping at another winery and he was totally smitten. While he owns no acreage, he does maintain a tasting room in Buellton, California. He has made some great contacts and contracts with over a dozen different vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Lucia Highlands, Russian River Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Paso Robles and Sonoma Coast. His winery facility is in Lompoc and he said that he can be available for tours, but from mid-July to mid-November he basically cannot due to bottling and harvest, which is totally understandable. I had to marvel at how smoothly he ran the tasting, keeping track of most of the customers and what they were having next, even though there was a constant stream of new tasters.
The fifth wine of the tasting was Loring Wine Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2016 and it was interesting to taste the difference from 2015 to 2016. While this wine being sampled was not a single vineyard, the fruit all came from vineyards in the AVA; the vineyards were Rancho La Vina, Kessler-Haak, Clos Pepe, Cargasacchi and Aubaine. This wine like all the others being sampled were aged for ten months in French Oak, of which fifteen percent was new. I would venture to say that it is easier for him to produce all of his wines on the same schedule and be the most productive with his time. He produced nine-hundred cases of this wine. Here was a wine that had a bigger nose full of spices, and a bold fruit forward taste, with a good finish.
The last wine he was pouring was I thought a bit out of order if I had done the rotation, but it worked. He had a blended California AVA wine that was more popular priced and it was named after his nephew. The Cooper Jaxon Pinot Noir 2016 was a blend of wines from Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Lucia Highlands. He acknowledged Rancho La Vina, Kessler-Haak, Clos Pepe, John Sebastiano and Aubaine vineyards from Sta. Rita Hills and also Rosella’s and Sierra Mar vineyards from Santa Lucia Highlands. Just like the other wines this was aged for ten months in French Oak, with fifteen percent being new, and he produced seventeen-hundred cases of the Cooper Jaxon. The wine had a softer nose, a little softer color compared to the others, but it was very accessible and an easy drinking wine right from opening of the bottle. I would suggest any of the wines that I tried, and I look forward to trying some of his other offerings as well.