Some really good talents have come out of Walla Walla Community College’s enology and viticulture program. The list of talents continues to rise as Jason Fox is one of them that started his own Lagana Cellars in 2013. Lagana sources from some great vineyards including Sagemoor and Seven Hills vineyards. Jason is earnest, frank and highly knowledgable as I have enjoyed my time chatting with him at his downtown Walla Walla tasting room. Jason partners with Todd Bernave in Lagana Cellars winemaking as Todd had a career in fine art for fifteen years prior to getting into winemaking.
They both have done a really good job with crafting mineral-driven white wines and I thoroughly enjoyed the 2018 Lagana Cellars ‘Eritage Vineyard’ Chardonnay (WWB, 90) which has really good freshness and a long finish. Even better was his 2017 Nox Perpetua Carmenere (WWB, 91) which shows great varietal typicity and downright delicious chocolate tones. Learn more about these wines at http://www.laganacellars.com Here are the new wine releases by Lagana Cellars.
2018 Lagana Cellars ‘Eritage Vineyard’ Chardonnay- Needing a bit of air to get started, the 2018 ‘Eritage Vineyard’ Chardonnay shows off bright lemon zest with vanilla cream on the nose. The palate has good freshness and tension that runs through the core of the wine, but the real treat is the long finish that lingers on the tongue. While this is on the lighter side, the sense of balance is excellent. Drink 2020-2025- 90
2017 Lagana Cellars ‘Walla Walla Valley’ Syrah- Showing off its inky core, the ‘Walla Walla Valley’ Syrah opens with layers of black fruits woven together with tar, anise and shades of smoked pork shoulder on this expressive nose. The palate has good freshness revealing medium-bodied black fruit and black tea flavors. What this doesn’t possess in body it makes up for it in verve. Drink this finesse-driven Syrah over the next seven years. Drink 2020-2025- 90
2017 Lagana Cellars ‘Eritage Vineyard’ Cabernet Franc- The 2017 ‘Eritage Vineyard’ Cabernet Franc is admittedly the first of its kind that I have sampled from this newly planted vineyard. The herbal tones entice aromatically with Christmas spice cake and shades of black licorice that collide with the core of dark fruits that all take shape in the glass. The palate shows a bright beam of acidity that connects with the medium-bodied dark fruit, tar and sour cherry flavors. Novel and showing good brightness, this lightly tannic, somm-friendly effort will cellar well over the next seven to ten years. Drink 2020-2027- 90