Though they have been around since 2008, this is only our second encounter with LOLA. Winemaker/owner Seth Cripe got bit by the wine bug at 17 while working as a busboy near his home in Anna Maria Island, Florida. You’ve heard the story before many times about the person who works at various wine locales around the world to learn ropes and then finds his niche. Seth’s niche turned out to be making wine from important appellations, but selling them at reasonable prices. What a concept. The LOLA Pinot Noir tastes like, um, Pinot Noir. Good Pinot Noir and we aren’t trying to be wiseacres because you know so many of them out there only bear a vague resemblance to the real deal after they have been manipulated in the cellar and pumped up with some other varietal.
The winery is located in Napa, but the juice for the Lola Pinot Noir North Coast 2016 comes from Pinot-legit places like Mendocino, Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast AVAs. Tender, fruit driven core, red fruits that lean a little blue, a touch of spice and violet, it is a surprisingly engaging quaff. Since LOLA costs about the same as a mass-marketed Pinot whose name is five letters starting with ‘M’ and ending in ‘I’, we can’t imagine why anyone would buy that when they could buy this! The only reason we can fathom is that people don’t know about LOLA yet. The whole winery produces 12,000 cases total of several varietals, and there are hundreds of thousands of cases of our mass-market Pinot. Clearly LOLA is still kind of an insiders’ find, but now you know.
We’ll leave here with the words of Jeb Dunnuck, who apparently also found this Pinot rather charming, “…An excellent value …It saw a touch of whole cluster and 6 months in used barrels. It offers a sweetly fruited, pretty, elegant, classic Pinot Noir style (which isn’t a given at this price point) to go with notes of cherries, toast and spice. Drink it over the coming 3-5 years...90 points.”