SCM Wine Club Tasting Notes - Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains

SCM Wine Club Tasting Notes

Wine Enthusiast 94 – Chardonnay raised on alluvium of raised, ancient marine terraces and coastal benches, the Bruzzone vineyard is just four miles from the Pacific Ocean in the Scotts Valley. Aromas of citrus zest and flint open up to green apple, Meyer lemon curd, and almond blossom. The palate is focused, taught, and chalky, with intense mineral structure and the polished edges of a wine raised on its lees for 18 months. Tension and minerality persist through the long finish.

“Superclean and tight on the nose with Asian pear, yuzu-pith, nectarine and wet chalk aromas. The focus is intense on the palate, where a chalky core frames fresh jicama and borderline minty flavors, which fascinate with each sip.” – Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast, 95 points Editor’s Choice Award

Aging: Fermented and raised in French oak barrels (10% new) for 12 months, then 6 months in stainless steel.

In 2011, we added Clone 667 to our award-winning Clone 13, creating BACCHUS™, a Pinot blend fit for the god of wine.

It has big, bold aromatics of cranberry, pomegranate, raspberry tea and allspice are underscored by rich notes of butterscotch and crème brulee. Nothing shy about it. The massively bold flavors skew predominantly to raspberry whole wheat bars and toasted pecans, and are heavily accented by the 100% new oak in which it was fermented, giving the wine an infusion of clove, pomegranate and balsamic.

Enormous. That’s this wine in a word. Add to that, tempestuous, youthful and assertive. It holds big, bold aromatics of cranberry, pomegranate, raspberry tea, and allspice, underscored by rich notes of creme brûlée. There is nothing shy about this wine. The massively bold flavors skew predominantly to raspberry, whole wheat bars, and toasted pecans. It is heavily accented by the 100% new oak in which it was fermented – giving the wine an infusion of clove, pomegranate, and balsamic. This rebellious teenager will benefit enormously from spending some time locked up in his room.



This one is our standard-bearer.  Chardonnay selections from each corner
of our estate come together in this wine.  Barrel fermented, in previously used French
oak barrels, this is just simply delicious.  There’s just enough subtle oak there to round
this one out and bring out the sweet apple.  Enjoy!

Winemaking notes – The grapes were hand harvested, 70% de-stemmed, and foot crushed. Native yeast fermentation took place for 21 days with daily punchdowns. The wine was pressed and put into finest French Oak we have in our cellar with about 20% new barrels and aged for 22 months.

Tasting notes – a few sentences well balanced and highly perfumed with the classic Santa Cruz Mountain aromatics we all adore. The palate is nearly full bodied with flavors which mirror the nose with rich fruit flavors of raspberry, cranberry, pine needle, forest floor, and savory herbs. This wine is delicious now and ideal for drinking upon release and over the next 3-10 years.

ABV: 12.5%

Cases produced: 350 cases

Winemaker: Ryan Beauregard

Cooperage: 20% new french oak

Clones if applicable: 115, 667, 828, Pommard

Aged 18 months, 45% new French oakUnfiltered and Unfined219 cases, $64

·        100% native (indigenous) yeast fermentation

·        Highly aromatic, youthfully taut, and flows with a smooth delicacy that is distinctly weightless

·        Mid-October harvest shows an elegant range of the estate’s purest flavors, with racy red fruits, cherry, strawberry and plum, and a touch of black tea

·        Medium bodied, it opens up with floral notes and a touch of earth

Tasting notes – Deep and dark, but vibrant and extraordinarily delicious. Drinking extremely well even though still a bit tight on the edges. Loads of juicy black fruit, and bright summer red fruit entice you deeper into the subtle nuances of dried meats, savory herbs, sweet earth tones, warm pie crust, and toasted nuts.

Rich and buttery with bright notes of mountain pear and Fuji apple complemented by a firm, yet supple finish.  From the cool reaches of Pleasant Valley where warm, sunny days turn to fog-filled evenings allowing the wine to achieve incredible balance and varietal expression.   Try it with Monterey Bay Salmon – ooh, la, la!

Technical Sheet PDF Here

Gold Medal Winner2021 Sunset international wine competition

Lifted aromas of alpine strawberries and black cherries meld with a bouquet of coastal garrigue and forest floor. A judicious use of stem inclusion and new French Oak tastefully frame the fruit and speak to La Honda’s pedigree – serious wine and a joy to drink. With some weight and tannin to it but plenty of fruit, the 2019 is a great food wine or a delight on its own. 

Technical Sheet PDF Here

Leather, dried strawberry and peppercorn lead into a nose loaded with chaparral spice of light thyme and sage on this vineyard designate. It’s a bit shy on the palate at first, and then light cranberry and raspberry flavors emerge against the crushed stone and light red-flower flavors.

Matt Kettman, Wine Enthusiast. 93 points.

From our Gist Ranch Estate, this bottling showcases mountain Pinot Noir with aromatic red fruit and a wild forest spice character.


The Will’s Cabin Estate Vineyard lies some 20 miles south of the winery at elevations reaching over 2300 ft. The north-west facing ridge is heavily fractured Vacqueros sandstone with steep slopes and awesome exposure. A mere 14 miles separates the vineyard and ocean, though it often basks in morning sun as it sits above the morning fog. This is an earlier ripening vineyard that produces wines that are seriously structured with a wild, mountain character that continues to impress us.


Record setting rains replenished our thirsty soils and gave our old vines a much needed reprieve from four drought stressed seasons. The 2017 vintage was another year of record setting heat, continuing our string of record setting temperatures. Luckily, Spring was mild and allowed us to set the best crop we have seen since 2012. A torrid heat spike over the labor day started the growing season with a bang and had us off and running at sprinter’s pace. The weather following was mild and allowed for the latest harvest we have seen in some time. It will go down as a vintage with good yields and potentially great quality.


ACID 5.6

PH 3.57

ALCOHOL % 13.3

It seems every release there is a wine that stands out among the crowd, and this year the Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon is indicating it’s ready to stand out. On the pop there are lovely aromas of eucalyptus, plum flesh, and perfectly ripe red cherries. As you allow the wine time to open in the bottle and glass you are greeted with chocolate (cocoa), tobacco wrapper, sage, thyme and tarragon. Structurally, the wine is present, but certainly not overwhelming. The wine has well integrated tannins, soft acidity, and a finish of mouth-watering caramel. This wine can stand up to a wide array of heavier foods such as roasted red meats, grilled heavier foods, or chiles/stews. Drink now – 2032.

The 2013 Estate Pinot Noir shows a great depth of black and red cherry fruit. Hints of earth and leather add a pleasant note as they intermingle with the oak and spicy notes of the wine. The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA signature is impressively stamped onto this wine and shows off the balanced minerality and natural acidity.

Located in Corralitos, Lester is an excellent place to grow Pinot Noir. Here, under the care of Prudy Foxx this delicate grape slowly ripens and produces wines with a remarkable balance of fruit and acidity. Ours was fermented in small lots and punched down by hand daily. The wine was aged in high quality French oak barrels (20% new) and bottled unfined and unfiltered. We expect this Pinot Noir to develop over several years due to its complex structure, but it is delicious upon release. Pair with duck, grilled salmon or filet mignon.

Each year one of our favorite challenges is producing an excellent Pinot Noir blended from the finest vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. For 2016 we decided to make ours with selections from our lots of Lester Family Vineyards in Corralitos. This was an outstanding vintage here and we produced a wine with finesse, elegance and structure. The selected Pinot Noir clones combine to provide the wine a complex bouquet with flavors of cherry and a long finish. The wine is enjoyable now but will continue to improve with bottle age. Serve with a mild triple cream cheese like Brillat-Savarin, filet mignon, or with roasted pork.

Harvest date: September 10, 14, October 1

Clones: 667, 777, 115, Swan

Average Brix: 24.9

Vinification: Crushed and destemmed immediately. Fermented in 1.5 ton lots and punched-down by hand daily.

Alcohol: 14.9% by volume

Barrels: French Oak, 25% new

Fining, filtering: none

Bottling date: February 1, 2018

Cases produced: 95

Located at ~2500 feet of elevation in the South Skyline region of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Ascona Vineyard is farmed with organic practices. The soils are ancient marine sedimentary deposits of loosely consolidated sandstone and siltstone, with an average southwest exposure. During the day, Ascona is perched above the marine layer while fog and cool Pacific breezes prevail overnight. This strong diurnal temperature variation permits phenolic ripening and stem maturation, while preserving fresh natural acidity.

WINEMAKING Upon harvest, we simply place the fruit in small open top fermenters as 100% whole clusters. We keep the fermenters cold for 3-5 days, before allowing them to warm up to room temperature and ferment spontaneously on native yeast. The ferments are tasted daily to assess the maceration and extraction. We pressed after ~18 days on skins to 25% new French oak barriques and bottle after ~9 months elevage. This wine is unfined and unfiltered. Please expect some solids in the bottle especially with age. 12.8% ABV

TASTING NOTES On the nose, we are reminded of elderberry and wild blackberry, cinnamon, red cedar, a touch of orange peel and tamarind. On the palate, there is an exciting sinewy tension that portends even better things to come with bottle age.

Crunchy aromas of raspberry, pomegranate, bay leaf, sandalwood and crumpled herbs show on the dynamic nose of this bottling. Vivid flavors of tart raspberry appear on the palate, with hints of bay leaf and incense. — M.K. Published 7/1/2022

The 2020 begins with a bouquet of rose petal, tea leaf, spice, vanilla wafer, river stones, and red berry fruit. The nose of this wine immediately reveals its overall elegance, with evidence of stem inclusion during fermentation wafting in and out of the both the palate and aromatics. The palate is soft and shines red fruit, coating and broadening as it moves forward to back. The finish carries chirpy acidity, vanilla, and more red berry notes.

A robust wine with an abundance of bright red fruit flavors, strawberry, pepper, spice and bold tannins. Unfined and unfiltered. 

Clones: 40% Dijon 113, 40% Dijon 114 and 20% Dijon 667 

Aged:  22 Months French Oak (50% New) 

Alcohol:  13.7% 

Medium garnet, the nose reveals dusty cherry, clove, and earth. Medium bodied stuffed with red fruits, the wine is layered with subtle coconut, vanilla crème and toast. Lighter than other vintages, this wine begs for food. Rigatoni bolognese or even roast chicken with shitaake mushrooms love the acidity and balance of this wine.

“Light in the glass, this is a deliciously fresh yet complex bottling, starting with aromas of pomegranate, raspberry, rose petals and sage. It’s quite delicate while refreshing on the palate, zippy with acidity and tense in texture, as waves of strawberry, thyme and sage sail into the finish.”– Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast

Can drink now, and over the next 5 to 7 years.

95 points, Wine Enthusiast
92 points, Purely Domestic Wine Report

Appropriate dark ruby color, with amazing fresh soft red fruit aromas and a hint of cardamom, this Pinot has rich and balanced on the palate featuring cocoa, blackberry, oak, and a killer depth of flavor.

The 2018 harvest started in early September under perfect ripening conditions. Included in the fermentations were 35% whole-cluster to add complexity and vibrancy. There are no “additions” to our winemaking; we employ indigenous yeast during fermentation. When we bottle, there is no fining or filtration, creating a Natural Wine in every aspect.

The wine displays characteristic deep purple color with intriguing ripe and varied aromas of fruit and earth. The palate is rich with a long and lingering finish.

The Regan estate Pinot Noir is produced from the most exquisite of the four clones of Pinot Noir growing in Regan, known as the Mt Eden clone of Pinot Noir. This unique clone was brought to this region directly from Burgundy, France in the late 19th century.

60 cases produced.

Aromas of blueberries, cherries, sweet cola, oak, graphite, contrasted by savory aromas of sage and tomato leaf. On the palate this wine is full bodied with firm powdery tannins.

14.4% – ABV

397 – Cases produced

Alessio Carli – Winemaker

Handpicked October 2, 2017 and fermented in stainless steel tanks. This wine was aged in French oak barrels for 2.5 years and then bottled in June of 2020.

Tasting Notes

Release Date: Spring 2022

Our Domaine Eden Cabernet is unique in the California Cabernet world as it is a blend of five distinct vineyards in the middle of our large appellation. Based on the classic Bordeaux blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec, all the varieties are fermented individually on native yeasts and aged in oak separately until the final blending at fifteen months. Once the lots are blended together, the wine sees an additional seven months of barrel age.

Balanced aromas of cassis and loamy earth frame the nose. Fresh, lively flavors of savory herb and blackberry engage the palate. The depth of flavor and length of finish complete the experience.

Of course, this is enjoyable now, yet it will continue to be an incredible bottle for the next decade or more.



Tech Notes

Yield: 2.5 tons per acre

Harvest: September 27th- Oct 19th

Numbers @ Harvest: 23.5° Brix, 3.45 pH, 6.5 grams acidity

Cepage: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec

Barrel Regimen: French Bordeaux 2/3rds- 2-5 years old; American Oak 1/3rd- 2-5 years old

Bottling: August 2020; no fining or filtration

Alcohol: 14%

Deep and dark, but vibrant and extraordinarily delicious. Drinking extremely well even though still a bit tight on the edges. Loads of juicy black fruit, and bright summer red fruit entice you deeper into the subtle nuances of dried meats, savory herbs, sweet earth tones, warm pie crust, and toasted nuts.

Deep garnet red with nose of bright red cherry and sweet oak. On the palate, ripe red bramble fruit, plush and supple tannins, and lively acidity. EB (3/20)

Full technical details can be found Here.

This full bodied Cabernet bursts with bright aromas of deep red cherry, black current jam and ripe plum. The expressive aromas are integrated with earthy spices, cedar, anise, vanilla, rich leather and balanced with a lush texture and refined tannins leading to a long lingering finish. Drink now through 2028.

This Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on September 20 and September 30, 2017 from Raines Vineyard nestled in the Saratoga foothills above Pierce Road. Steep slopes require the vineyard to be harvested in multiple passes for optimum ripening and intense flavor concentration. Aged for 20 months in 50% new American and 50% in neutral oak barrels. Unfiltered.

The Luchessi vineyard is a perfect example of a rough and rugged mountain vineyard that produces wine with tons of character. It was planted in 1981 on a very steep hillside on the east side of the Santa Cruz Mountains a little northeast of Montebello Ridge. It is an old-fashioned vineyard with head-trained vines and no trellis wires. The site is too steep to have wires, as tractors need to be able to cultivate either direction depending on the slope. This vineyard just looks like it has to make wine of character, and it does. Year after year there is an incredible depth of Cabernet Sauvignon fruit.

The lovely garnet pour gives way to aromas of red currants, raspberries, and hints of dark chocolate. Cranberries and bright raspberries dance across your palate, accompanied by a zesty cedar edge that leads into a wonderfully long finish.

13.7% ABV. 105 cases produced.

Winemaking notes:

Aging: The Merlot was picked on September 9 and the Franc on September 29 & October 13. After destemming and transfer to fermenters, all lots received organic nutrients to ensure smooth, native yeast fermentations; the wines were pressed off in 11-13 days. When malolactic fermentation was firmly established, the wines were racked to French oak barrels (Merlot 29% new, Franc 30% new) to finish malolactic and age. Based our blending trials 5 months later, we assembled this 60% Merlot and 40% Franc, and returned to the barrel to integrate and finish 10 months of aging before bottling in August 2017.

The Airplane story: The F6F Hellcat is named for an airplane that our founding winemaker and NASA Test Pilot George Cooper flew when flying for the Ames Research Center. With this plane, George was testing how much dihedral a pilot would desire, accept, or tolerate. Dihedral, the angle between an upwardly inclined aircraft wing and a horizontal line, affects how an airplane flies.

2020 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir, Mt. Eden Clone

Taste the complex flavors of Regan Vineyards Winery’s Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot Noir. This deep red wine was artfully crafted by the experienced hands of John Bargetto, who has over 30 years of experience in winegrowing.

Produced from the famed Mt. Eden clone, the Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot Noir has beautiful aromas, a full palate, and diverse flavors that highlight the diversity of Regan’s coastal mountain vineyard.

Regan Vineyards Winery wines have flavor as unique as the spectacular location. Strong acidity, rich colors, and complex flavors all stem from the vineyards cool ocean climate, bright sunshine, and loamy, rich soil.

A beautiful, ruby colored pour is followed by scents of raspberries, cherries, and a sprinkling of brown spices. Very nice fruit on the palate and nice structure! Raspberries and tart cherries, with cloves, cardamom, allspice, and a pinch of cinnamon. Nice, easy finish.

14.1% ABV.

300 cases produced.

The highlight of 2020 Chardonnay is its balance, with elegant weight on the palate taming the sharp edges typically found in Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay. The nose is crème brule, vanilla extract, and lemon buttermilk pie. The wine was fermented, aged, and fussed over in oak barrels for 20 months with heavier than typical lees, giving it amazing complexity and weight. Given the extended barrel aging, it’s surprising to find a delightful youthful freshness, which will likely contribute to the long term “age-ability” of this Chardonnay.

Our Rosé is for the passion of summer and the immediacy of enjoyment! We picked the grapes intentionally for Rosé winemaking – a whole month earlier than our Pinot Noir harvest dates. This method is sometimes referred to as the ‘direct press’ method, which is our strong stylistic choice for Rosé winemaking. This style emphasizes lower alcohol, bright fruit acidity, no residual sugar and a very pale blush of color.

Varietal: Pinot Noir – Dijon Clone 115

Sustainable, organic, dry farming and low yield practices are employed.

Winemaking: Maximizing Rosé characteristics through our stylistic choice of an early harvest date, direct press and fermenting and aging in Stainless Steel tanks. No fining, filtration or other manipulation.

Aging: 6 months Stainless Steel

Harvest Date: September 14th, 2020

Deep garnet red with nose of bright red cherry and sweet oak. On the palate, ripe red bramble fruit, plush and supple tannins, and lively acidity. EB (3/20)

Full technical details can be found Here.

Crisp acidity with hints of pineapple, melon, and lemon zest.

Aged for 11 months in 50% new French oak.  Unfined & unfiltered.  95 cases produced.

Full technical details can be found Here.

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