Lingua Franca in Oregon is the realisation of a life’s ambition for Master Sommelier Larry Stone. Having bought a site in the Eola-Amity Hills in 2012, Larry joined forces with David Honig and Dominique Lafon to create wines of expression and nuance. The impressive triumvirate behind Lingua Franca enlisted Lafon’s protégé Thomas Savre as the winemaker, while Dominique supports as a consultant himself. Thomas brought his experience from several Burgundian greats and his time at Lingua Franca’s neighbour Evening Lands where was able to learn from Dominique.
The ethos at the birth of the project was about creating wines which have a sense of place and this is something for which all involved have both passion and expertise. Larry’s vineyard is 27ha sitting among auspicious neighbours, Seven Springs and Lone Star Vineyards. This is a hillside which Larry rightly judged to have the ideal easterly exposure, catching the morning sunshine and gentle cooling breezes.
Larry has planted exclusively Dijon and heritage clones of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These are sourced from specific vineyards whenever possible – cuttings from Le Montrachet for example. The Chardonnay occupies the stoniest soils to bring a distinctive minerality to the wines. The Pinot is found on silty loam “Jory” and marine fossil Nekia soils.
These are classic Oregon, always elegant and full of pure fruit but completed with notes of spice and earth which elevate them to give them a true sense of place.
Deep, shimmering red. A highly aromatic bouquet evokes fresh red fruits, licorice and Asian spices, along with a smoky mineral overtone. Juicy, lithe and focused on the palate, offering appealingly sweet, mineral-tinged raspberry, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen slowly with air. Finishes with harmonious tannins, sharp clarity and strong persistence, leaving cherry and spice notes behind. 93pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous