Vail wine review: A small production pinot
VAIL, Colorado Small production is a loose term, thrown around like reserve in some wine circles. It all depends on your perspective, and it does not guarantee high quality. But Little Lion Wine Company, based in St. Helena in Napa Valley, has both small production and high quality. Little Lion Wine Co. is a big name for Tony Leonardini, a volunteer firefighter who makes wine in his off-hours. His Anderson Valley pinot noir the 2006 Two Faced Pinot Noir is an awesome wine from the best region in the U.S. for pinot noir. In this instance, small production means two French oak barrels, for a grand total of 47 cases. Luckily, one of Tonys friends runs a small distributor here in Colorado, so our state received 20 of those cases.The Two Faced Pinot Noir opens up with big raspberry and dried cranberry aromas and flavors. This is a balanced wine, with lightly toasty oak, sandalwood spice, and a white pepper, slightly tannic and nicely dry finish. Anderson Valley pinot noirs tend to have more acidity and elegance than most California pinots, and the Two Faced is no exception. Drink this wine with the classic pinot pairings: grilled salmon, lamb chops and roast duck. Enjoy the Two Faced now or cellar it for up to 5 to 7 years.Tony Leonardini ages this wine for 18 months in older French oak barrels, and bottles it unfined and unfiltered. This preserves the lovely fruit and light earth tones in the wine, and lets that Anderson Valley acidity shine through. The 2006 Two Faced Pinot Noir is $39.Jarrett Osborn is the wine buyer at Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards.