Lane Tanner Winery

'm not currently making Lane Tanner wines, instead I'm the winemaker at LUMEN, so surf on over and find me there:

Steve Tanzer's International Wine Cellar Ratings

Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard Santa Maria Valley 2007  91 pts. Bright red. Raspberry and cherry aromas are complemented by notes of anise, black tea and rose. Richer than the Bien Nacido but also lively, offering crisp, focused red berry and black cherry flavors, with good mineral spine and silky texture. Expands on the finish, which is focused, alluringly sweet and very persistent. These are the only two wines that Lane Tanner produced from the '07 vintage.

Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley 2007  91 pts. Bright red. Expansive, high-pitched bouquet offers scents of wild strawberry, raspberry, Asian spices and fresh flowers. Silky and alluringly sweet, with a lush, velvety texture to the energetic red and dark berry flavors. Finishes with admirable clarity and a persistent note of sweet red berries. This is delicious right now.

Wine Enthusiast Ratings

2007 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir  94 pts. Elegant, supple PN of great charm and impeccable balance. Flavors of cherry pulp and skin, cola, bacon, sandalwood and Asian spices. Drink now through 2013

2007 Julias Vineyard Pinot Noir  90 pts and cellar selection. Fresh in primary cherries and currants. Richness and balance are easily there. Give it a good 3-4 years in the cellar.

This winery was founded in 1984 by the high energy and cheerful Lane Tanner, who was mentored by the legendary Andre Tchelistcheff. Tanner runs what is basically a 'one-woman show' with production of about 1,500 cases annually.  She strives for a 'deft touch of oak' at about 20-30% new French barrels, with lower alcohols and is consistently one of the earlier pickers in Santa Maria with the aim of crafting well-balanced wines. It is interesting to note that the wines are 'very low in sulfites' because she is allergic to them. The wines are sold through the on-line mailing list. For further information visit

2007 Pinot Noir - Bien Nacido Vineyard: (Santa Maria Valley, 13.9%, 295 cases). This required several hours of air to really open up and display the complexity that it is capable of so be sure to allow it time in a decanter if you're going to try one young. A spicy and very pure nose of red and blue pinot fruit, plum and dark cherry aromas lead to rich, round and naturally sweet medium-bodied flavors that possess fine detail and vibrancy on the solidly intense finish. The acidity isn't as tightly integrated as that of the Julia's but this is one case where it appears as though it will in time. 89/2012+

2007 Pinot Noir - Julias Vineyard: (Santa Maria Valley, 13.8%, 447 cases produced). A lightly spiced and admirably fresh nose of red and blue pinot fruit trimmed in a background note of earth that is also picked up by the nicely detailed and vibrant middle weight flavors that possess good depth and an attractive mouth feel. This is not especially ripe, at least not compared to many offerings from the Santa Maria Valley in 2007, and as such it manages to preserve a real sense of varietal character and is quite refreshing to drink. This will most please those who enjoy classically styled pinot. 91/2012+. One of Burghound.coms 72 California Pinot Noir Selections.

This next bit is a review from the Prince of Pinot's newsletter, The PinotFile:

Lane Tanner's Enticing Pinots

"Its a no-brainer: great Pinot at a sensible price made by a pioneering and highly respected California winemaker."

Lane Tanner, the Pinot Czarina, is a California treasure who has not received the notoriety that she deserves. She was one of the first female California winemakers to make a credible Pinot Noir in California (1984) and has demonstrated a remarkable resiliency and consistency over the past 25 years. Fortunately, author Judy Reynolds, in her book, Once Upon a Vine: The Secret Stories of California's Artisan Wineries, writes about Lane (who she affectionately calls "Bette Midler in a bottle). Reynolds says, "What do you get when you blend a wry sense of humor with pixy good looks and a yen for chemistry....In the madcap life script that Fate wrote for Lane Tanner, you get a winemaking woman who started her own brand in the earliest days of Santa Barbara Pinot Noir.....and lots of laughs."

2007 Lane Tanner Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 13.9% alc., 295 cases, $33. From N Block (Martini clone on its own rootstock planted in 1973). Back label says, "Laugh More-Flirt Often." Appealing intense aromas of blackberries, raspberries, plums, raisins and herbs. Tasty earth-dusted berry flavors with pepper in the background. There is a slight roasted quality to the fruit. Alluring richness, smoothly textured, with a tenacious persistence on the finish. Lane Tanner Pinot amped up a notch. Not as expressive as it will be but great cheekbones now.

2007 Lane Tanner Julia's Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 13.8% alc., 447 cases, $36. Sourced from block B4 (Martin Ray selection) of Julia's Vineyard which is located about 3 miles east of Bien Nacido Vineyard. The crop was low so it ripened earlier and harvest occurred about a month earlier than in 2006. Lane was the first to pick at this vineyard. Aged 11 months in 33% new French oak and 44% one-year-old barrels. The wine was not finned and was gently filtrated. Watch out for this spiced-up mother as it will seduce you. On the extroverted nose there are lovely scents of framboises des boise and cassis liquors which draw you into the glass. The lush berry fruit is rich and opulent with well-integrated tannins and a whisper of oak. Balance is spot on. The mouthfeel is satiny and the long, powerful finish is seductively perfumed. This is a wine with considerable cleavage that is hard to say no to.

The Los Angeles Times Review 

of the 2006 Santa Barbara Pinot is here

A Great Book for you to check out!

Here is a great new wine book that just came out called Once Upon A Vine, The Secret Stories of California's Artisan Wineries. Judy Reynolds is the author and I am in it...along with lots of other fun people...CHECK IT OUT....

Other Recent Reviews - October 6, 2008

2006 Lane Tanner Pinot Noir - Bien Nacido Vineyard red 91
2006 Lane Tanner Pinot Noir - Julia's Vineyard red 90

2006 Pinot Noir - Bien Nacido Vineyard: (from Santa Maria Valley fruit and bottled at 14.1%). A subtly spicy layered and intense red pinot fruit nose that is nuanced by hints of earth that leads to delicious, fresh, vibrant and beautifully balanced flavors that possess a discreet sauvage component on the precise and vibrant finish where a very mild touch of warmth can also be found. This is lovely and has an attractive Burgundian element to the mouth feel. Lovely and worth a look for those who like classically styled pinot. 91/2012+

2006 Pinot Noir - Julia's Vineyard: (from Santa Maria Valley fruit and bottled at 14.5%). Here the nose is higher-toned than the Bien Nacido with red cherry and touches of raspberry and cranberry that introduces round, rich, delicious and attractively sappy flavors that possess fine depth and breadth as well as much better than average length. Moreover, there is virtually no warmth here and while this does not have quite the same sheer depth of the Bien Nacido, there is no warmth either. I give the Bien Nacido the nod because of the depth of material but this too is certainly worth a look. 90/2011+

The 2006 Bien Nacido Vineyard was included in Allen Meadows,'s 49 California Top Pinot Noir Selections in a recent issue!

December 2008

91 2006 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley $33

Lovely and delicious, a balanced PN with soft acidity and tannins that frame perfectly ripe flavors of cherries, blackberries, black raspberries and smoky vanilla. Very elegant and upscale. (The least expensive of all 47 Pinots that scored 90 points or more)

89 2005 French Camp Vineyard Syrah San Luis Obispo $21

Silky, low tannin mouthfeel. Waves of currants, cherries, cola, orange, cocoa, pepper and cinnamon constantly change. (The least expensive of all of the Syrahs rated)

89 2006 Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley $36

Balanced with crisp acidity and oaky tannins, it flatters the mouth with a wealth of red and black cherry, currants, cola, bacon and vanilla flavors.

The Pinot Czarina Wine Club

Yes, I have a wine club. Here is how it works..I don't send you wine whenever I need cash or want to off load something. You buy wine from me one time and you are automatically enrolled (that is the only way you get membership). Once a year, I mail you my special, members only newsletter. You get a 15% discount on your order. The wines available to you will be my new releases plus any library wines I may want to offer. You are the first ones that have access to my library wine offers.


Order now, operators are standing by.

Prince of Pinot Features Lane

May 7, 2008 Features include: The Boys of John Ash & Co., Kastania Pinot Noir, Pinot Czarina: Lane Tanner, Twin Oaks Cellars, Small Sips of Pinot, Pinot Briefs, Pinot Events, The Long and Winding Pinot Road, Part X.

Fun Media Links of Lane

A really cool news piece was shown on the NBC station in San Francisco on, well, ME!  Here's a link to the video:

And here's a video of Lane at the Morrell Wine Store in New York


Happy Valentines Day, My Sweets!

I hope this note finds you happy, healthy and thirsty. Another year has they all do...and it's once again ...Pinot Czarina Wine Club Discount Time.... For those of you that are new members - this is what that means: You have purchased my wine-babies from my website (or you are a relative or best friend). That entitles you to a once yearly 15% discount on any wine I make. Sooo much more fun than the other wine clubs that send you their special blends (read...stuff they couldn't sell) or library selections ( vintage). In my club, YOU get to pick the wine AND the amount you want because, really, shouldn't it be about you? (The part about me is next..)

This is also my yearly newsletter, so here is what happened to me and the winery since last Valentines Day. I did the usual sales travel. The trip to Calgary, Canada was an outstanding example....They picked us up at the airport (many wine people from the Enovations sales book) and took us to this swanky hotel in town. The newly redone rooms were Zen-sheik and there was a swag bag waiting (Mom, that means a bag full of free-cool stuff) plus instructions for the two night stay. We all met at the bar down stairs at 6:00 for cocktails, then walked over to a great restaurant where we took over the downstairs dining room. Bubbles and hors d'oeuvres were served while we perused the menus and chatted. I ordered the pressed duck (they have one of the only duck presses left in the country-and the dinner came with the brass id tag from the duck I ate....kinda neat). The next day, the trade tasting was at 2:00, so I had a yummy room service breakfast and just stayed in bed with the fluffy down comforter over me while I read and watched the this beautiful dry snow dance down from the sky. At 1:00, I put on my pretty pouring outfit and good jewels and went downstairs. I ordered a bottle of Veuve champagne (I like drinking sparkles while I pour at these events...keeps me more talkative) and set up my table. The trade and press people trickled in and out while we poured, chatted and ate wonderful little snacky foods. After the event, we were all packed into two limo buses (That is a bus that's set up like a limo..all the cushy black leather seats were in a circle facing the center, lighting was sparkling disco, tunes cranked up on a superior sound system and ...of course a bar with more bubbles). We were driven about an hour out of town, to this beautiful hunting lodge/restaurant in the country. We had the place to ourselves. All of the food was prearranged and fabulous (course after course). We had all the open, leftover wine from the tasting plus some. By the end of the night, there was lots of kissing and laughter. Then back to the bus after making a few dozen snow angels...sweet dreams and home again. Life on the road is hard, but it must be done. 

I could go on about stuff but let me introduce this years wines before I run out of space....

2005 French Camp Syrah
(retail $21.50 your price $18.25)

I call this one Spicy. I make it like the Pinot's so it isn't one of those over the top Syrahs. It is however packed with more fruit than in previous years. The soft texture turns voluptuous as it opens, it's structure is based more on it's refreshing acidity than on tannin. The fruit starts with red berries then slides into wild ripe blueberries. Spices and slight hints of floral notes tickle and tease you.....

2006 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
(retail $26.00 your price $22.10)

I call this one Fruity. No nonsense, just great drinking wine. Come home, open and pour then start returning phone calls; turn around and the bottle is empty, how did that happen... Crunchy red fruit and wisps of silky smoke slide down while oh-so soft tannins leave the youthful and supple hints of rose, white pepper and strawberry.

2006 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir
(retail $33.00 your price $28.00)

I call this one Elegant. There's a delicacy to this wine that's transparent and beautiful. Fresh cherries and strawberries weave into sweet, wet earth with hints of pepper, smoke and wild flowers. The essence of fruit lingers on the remarkably classy finish making your mouth whisper, ... more please....

2006 Julias Vineyard Pinot Noir
(retail $36.00 your price $30.60)

I call this one Bold. A stunning wine that won't be ignored. Dark black plums and berries play peek-a-boo with long streams of smoke and cola. The tannins are there but the sweet fruit and toasty flavors equal and surpass them, so all your left with is haunting, breath taking Pinot Noir at it's best.

Over all, this years wines are slightly bolder the lovely 2007 line up. Any of the above wines are good to go now but will also do nothing but improve over the next ten to fifteen years. (Right now, I'm drinking my 1992-1994 wines and they are wonderful).

On a personal note, husband Ariki is doing super and his label, Labyrinth is going great guns. Sister Suz and family are Sunset perfect. Uncle Don turns 80 this year and in general, we are all fit and fine....accept for the fact that my little eel ate my yellow blenny this morning....o-well, such is life.

May each one of you have a super Valentines Day and remember to order something just for yourself...because you deserve it! Cheers...

Love, Your Pal,



Also, here's a link to past newsletters.