Rick Longoria has been associated with winemaking for over 40 years. Upon graduation from UC Berkeley in 1973 he briefly entertained pursuing a law degree, but after a stint in the cellar at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma he was hooked on wine. In 1979, after working at Firestone in Santa Barbara County and Chappellet Vineyards in Napa Valley, he signed on as Winemaker at J. Carey Cellars in Santa Barbara County. In 1982 he and wife Diana established the Longoria brand while he continued his work for J. Carey. He was made Winemaker for Gainey Vineyard in 1985, and in 1997 he left Gainey to devote all his winemaking activities to the Longoria brand. In 1998 Longoria was the first winery operation in the industrial area now known as the "Lompoc Wine Ghetto". That same year he and Diana also opened a tasting room in Los Olivos. Longoria wines strive for elegance and balance and Rick’s winemaking philosophy has been, in my opinion, "minimal manipulation".....let the purity of the wine speak for itself.
The 2012 "Lovely Rita" Pinot Noir is, indeed, a lovely wine. The Pinot Noir grapes, primarily Pommard clone, are sourced from the Fe Ciega vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. The wine, dark ruby in color with flavors and tastes of dark cherries and a slight hint of herbs and tobacco, is rich and velvety smooth with a nice touch of acidity on the finish. Biba and I always seem to gravitate toward Pinot Noir and Longoria Lovely Rita is one of our favorite wines. As is our usual custom, we recently enjoyed a bottle with braised lamb shanks with soft polenta and it was perfect.
For the entire month of March 2014 we are offering the Longoria 2012 Pinot Noir "Lovely Rita" at the reduced price of $48 per 750 ml bottle and $12 per glass. Try it...you will like it.
If you are in the Santa Barbara County wine country, be sure to visit the Longoria Tasting Room, located at 2935 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos, CA 93441. Tel: 805 688 0305. Open daily from 11 am until 4:30 pm.