Lincourt: Foley's Sister

Review: 2009 Lincourt Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills "Lindsay's" $20

When the occasion calls (and the host is loved enough), a go-to Pinot Noir that always impresses is Foley Estates' Rancho Santa Rosas bottling.  At $36, it's not cheap, but has proved again and again to be worth every penny - and then some.

Lincourt is a sister winery to Foley - these two wineries are just down the road from each in Santa Barbara County and owned by international wine powerhouse Foley Family Wines.  Knowing how sometimes sister brands share sourcing and surplus, this bottle (and its $20 price tag) looked like a good gamble.

Sure enough, the vibrant core of this Lincourt Pinot Noir brings to mind the Foley.  And while the Foley Pinot outclasses its sibling with layers that sing like a chorus, as a solo act, the Lincourt has plenty of stage presence.  Strong and lush, this Pinot typifies what a lot of wine snobs complain about these days: high alcohol Pinots with more fruit than acids.  But lovers of full throttle flavor and punchy highlights will find a lot to love here.  And a relative bargain, to boot, considering this is all Santa Rita Hills fruit.