Maggie Harrison is the eminence grise behind this wine. As noted separately under Antica Terra, Maggie learnt her craft under the august auspices of the Krankls at Sine Qua Non, and where better for an aspiring Syrah producer in southern California. Lillian is made from fruit sourced from three vineyards. White Hawk is a 60- acre vineyard just outside of Los Alamos. The ten acres at the top is a sand dune, literally pure sand, and she shares that acreage with Manfred Krankl. The site is midripening. It’s warmer than a more coastal spot like Bien Nacido, but because of its elevation retains precision and finesse. This is the darkest and most deeply fruity of the three sites. Complexity, comes as floral and iodine (ocean) related perfumes rather than a more typical bacon fat, and pepper oriented profile. This fruit usually encompasses about 50% of the blend. Each year Stolpman sells Maggie two tons of their best fruit. The site is in Ballard Canyon. It’s not very far from Whitehawk and the sites are not dissimilar, but the calcareous soils at Stolpman mean the fruit profile is slightly brighter and more tannic. Bien Nacido is a large historic vineyard planted closer to the coast. As for the name Lillian, Lillian was my maternal grandmother’s name. I had long planned on naming a daughter after her, but, well, I made a wine before I made a baby… so I thought I’d best honor her just in case I was never blessed with a daughter [which she now is]. And while she was a life-long supporter of Lancer’s, she herself embodied everything that I want these wines to express. She was strong and funny and gamine. Charming and complex. She was wildly feminine without being prissy and extraordinarily generous without being a pushover. And she did have, although she wouldn’t like for me to say it, a nose of epic proportions.
Inky purple. Explosive aromas of candied dark berries, incense, violet and patchouli, with woodsmoke, olive and Asian spice nuances adding complexity. Lush, palate-coating black and blue fruit compote flavors are energized by bright spice and mineral notes. Picks up candied violet and licorice notes on the sweet, impressively long finish, which is given grip by late-arriving tannins. With its suave marriage of power and energy, this is built for the long haul.