Located off Watsonville Road, Clos LaChance is one of the area's larger wineries. In addition to the 150 acres of estate vineyards the winery installs and manages a number of small Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains through their CK Vines subsidiary, and purchases fruit from Monterey county.
The wines fall into three ranges; the "Hummingbird" series are good value everyday wines, the "Estate" series are more structured and will typically reward cellaring and the "Special Selection" series are small, usually vineyard designated lots. Although the winery is located at the heart of the Santa Clara Valley AVA the wines carry the wider Central Coast appellation.
The winery tasting room is open daily from 11-4:30. There is a $5 tasting fee (not refunded with purchase) which includes at least 5 wines; possibly more depending what happens to be open.
2008 Estate Viognier
Very fragrant; floral with, peaches, apricots, sherbet and wet stone. Crisp yet fruity with peach, mandarin orange and orange pith, and a long, mineral finish. Recommended 91 $22
2007 "Glittering-Throated Emerald" Chardonnay
An unoaked Chardonnay from Scheid Vineyard in Monterey County
Fresh nose of green apple and lemon. On the palate it's crisp and drywith notes of lemon and lime, and some limestone. Dry finish. A little expensive at the $15 RRP, but it was on offer at 30% off in the winery and can often be found at retail under $7. Based on that it's a Value 88 $15
2006 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains
Attractive nose of vanilla, lemon curd and toast. Made in the buttery style, it's creamy with vanilla and lemon, and a nice mineral finish. Value 90 $20
2007 Charsonnay, Biagini Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains
Lighter on the oak than the 2006 SCM, the nose has lemon, apple and peach. Rich and full bodied with complex, creamy lemon, fig and mineral notes and a long toasty, smoky finish. A knockout. Recommended 93 $35
2007 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains
2007 seems to be a very good year for Pinot everywhere. This example has a beautiful, fruity nose - cherry, raspberry, clove and nutmeg. Full bodied, with nice cherry and raspberry fruit, a little earthiness and a dry finish. Well balanced. Recommended 91 $30
2005 Estate Cabernet Franc
This will be the last vintage for this wine; in future the small amount of Cabernet Franc grown here will be used for blending.
A perfumed nose, hinting at dark fruits, tobacco, mushrooms and sandalwood. Perhaps a faint touch of volatile acidity. Good structure; flavours of brambles and tobacco, with an earthy finish. 90 $30
2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Tart nose of blackcurrant and fresh baked cookies, with a hint of smoke. Quite tannic with good acidity, blackberry and blackcurrant, and a medium length, earthy finish. 90 now with plenty of potential to improve over the next 3-5 years. $40
2006 Estate Grenache
Nose shows redcurrant and vanilla, with a hint of oxidation (poured from a half-empty bottle, presumably opened the day before). Smooth, with bright acidity, simple currant flavours and a quick finish. 83 $30
2006 Lila's Cuvee
An estate Rhone blend. Shows dark, jammy fruits and some oak on the nose. Rich and peppery, with spicy plum and blackberry flavours; well structured, with a good, long finish. 91 with potential. $40