Layne Montgomery is a brilliant winemaker - and funnily enough although we loved his work already - it was not until we tasted this cracking Cabernet did we really realise quite how talented he was! Hi amazing deep, intense but beautifully balanced Zinfandels are epic, but how would he cope with are more famous variety like Cabernet Sauvignon? The answer is he's absolutely got it. This is delicious. Compared to some of the wines we know in Napa; this is restrained. There is some plump depth - but the richness is measured and countered by lovely warm spice and gentle texture. Named in protest at the endless roll-call of silly wine names combining colours and beasts - Layne's - ironic Purple Squirrel is surprisingly serious and sophisticated. A real gem and smarter than you might think. L&S (Nov 2019)
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Layne Montgomery is a charming, colourful character and a very talented winemaker. Self-taught he started this fantastic project in 2004, creating dynamic, artisanal wines from distinctive vineyards on the West side of Lodi, California.
Some vines are now over 100 years old, which is remarkable for this oft forgotten part of the wine world. He eschews French oak for American oak. 'French oak is too delicate, he says. 'It's like putting lipstick on John Wayne'.
The wines have simply got better and better as Layne has honed his craft and he is now making stand out wines for the region. When we met him on a balmy August night amongst the vines of Lodi we were immediately enchanted by his stunning wines and amusing, outspoken character. These are wines with personality and a refined sense of place.
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