Super Tuscan wine from California? It’s a thing, sort of, courtesy of brand owner Lucas & Lewellen and winemaker Megan McGrath Gates, whose Toccata hails from L&L’s Los Alamos Vineyard and Valley View Vineyard in Santa Barbara County. This blend is 50% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Freisa, and 5% Petit Verdot.
I was immediately surprised, almost taken about, by the wine’s power, its cassis notes overpowering at first en route to notes of cherry, gritty green peppercorn, cocoa powder, and coffee bean notes. Quite rich and full of fruit, it wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but some time with the wine brought its charms into fuller focus. The finish softens up — and decanting is not a bad idea with this wine — to show some florals, with hints of violet lingering. Overall, this is an intriguing blend of old and new world — but bring along some patience while you’re drinking it.
B+ / $29 / llwine.com