The Common Language of Thrilling Oregon Wine: Lingua Franca

Dear Oregon wine fans,

We are elated to introduce you to the inaugural Pinot noir and Chardonnay releases from Lingua Franca, unquestionably one of the most exciting new projects in years. Sidestepping the impressive resumés of those involved, what made us seek these wines and want to share them with you was the truly exceptional wine in the bottle. We highly encourage you to get in on the ground floor -- this is a star that's guaranteed to rise.

Wine icon Larry Stone left Napa for Willamette Valley, establishing roots on a prime Eola-Amity Hills site. The winemaking team are rockstars: famed Burgundian Dominique Lafon is joined by on-the-ground winemaker Thomas Savre, one of the brightest young voices in Oregon who we came to know as assistant winemaker at Evening Land and who previously worked in the cellar and vineyard of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the pinnacle of Pinot noir on the planet.  

We sat down with Larry and Thomas last week to taste through their thrilling line up. We loved every wine and were particularly struck by the uniqueness of each, a quality that is rare among new producers. We've selected our favorites to offer today. 

Lingua Franca Pinot noir Willamette Valley Ryan's Plow 2015

$58.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($64.95 regular) 

Our unequivocal favorite of the entire line up is this must-have example of Oregon Pinot noir. The bar for 2015 has been set high -- this wine will be a benchmark by which we judge other releases. Positively gorgeous and engaging in every way, complex as it is effortlessly enjoyable, this cascades with black cherry and black raspberry on a silky frame. Superb length and unending Pinot noir sweetness presented only one problem: I had to wait politely for the finish to fade before moving to the next wine! It's better than the review below. A blend of Seven Springs and Black Walnut Vineyards, named for master viticulturalist Ryan Hannaford. - Marcus

94 points Wine Spectator: "Vibrant and silky, with a precise and elegant structure, plus pretty raspberry and violet aromas and crisp strawberry, flint and white pepper flavors. Drink now through 2024." 

Lingua Franca Pinot noir Eola-Amity Hills Avni 2015

$40.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($44.95 regular)

A prototypical Pinot of the Eola-Amity Hills, featuring captivating red and black fruits alongside lively floral and mineral waves, finishing long and silky. - Marcus

92 points Wine Spectator: "Refined and precise, featuring a structure that's elegantly complex, with raspberry and cinnamon aromas and sleek cherry and mineral flavors. Drink now through 2022."  

Lingua Franca Chardonnay Willamette Valley Avni 2015

$40.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($44.95 regular)

The wine which started it all...through a clandestine wine-related adventure, I found myself with an unlabeled, not-yet-released bottle of Avni Chardonnay, the first Lingua Franca wine I tasted. I try to limit myself to a couple glasses most evenings but I admit to indulging once I opened this beauty. It's everything we love in Chardonnay, from the bright and racy citrus and pear flavors to the mouthwatering minerality and seamless texture. - Marcus 

Lingua Franca Pinot noir Eola-Amity Hills Mimi's Mind 2015

$88.15 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($97.95 regular)

Lingua Franca's finest expression of their series of 2015 wines is complex and deep in every way. It is a wine you want to contemplate over two or three days and we wish we'd had that precious time to do so. Named for Mimi Casteel whose mind is as brilliant as her vineyard.

94 points Wine Spectator: "Lissome and polished, with expressive violet and blueberry aromas and precise but richly complex flavors of plum, mineral and spiced cinnamon. Drink now through 2023."

You can read more about each wine and view Larry's incredible food pairing recommendations on our website.