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

91 points tasting.com

Native fermentation, 18 months in French and Hungarian Oak. Aromas and flavors of black cherry and fig, kola nut, chocolate fudge, and pipe tobacco and baking spices with a round, tangy, dryish medium body and a warming, captivating, medium-long finish with nuances of baked black cherry, chocolate mocha, nutmeg, and leather and clove with chalky, woody tannins and light oak flavor. For those that love ripe and juicy Pinot Noir, this is a delightful sipper.

VINEYARD: Located at ~2500 feet of elevation in the South Skyline region of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Ascona Vineyard is farmed with dedicated 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: We made this wine from a collection of small, native yeast ferments in open top tanks, 100% whole clusters. We treat each fermentation individually, tasting them daily to assess the maceration and extraction. After the primary fermentation completes, we press and store the wine in neutral French oak barrels for 9 months. This wine is unfined and unfiltered, please expect some solids in the bottle. We made this wine thoughtfully to show itself best with age. Enjoy now or cellar 5 – 12 years for savoring at its peak. 1148 bottles produced, 13.3% ABV. 

TASTING NOTES: Aromas of bing cherry, light baking spice and dried herbs. Lively on the palate, this Pinot pairs with wild mushroom risotto and family gatherings.

Planted on picturesque south-facing slopes of clay and loam, the Deerheart Vineyard lies just five miles from the Pacific Ocean and is bordered by the La Honda Open Space Preserve. With a compelling mix of Dijon and Swiss clones, most the vines are planted at a dense 4-foot spacing to promote lower yields. The coldest blocks are trellised just 18” off the ground to capture the heat of the earth on this cool coastal site at the frontier-edge of the AVA. Crunchy aromas of morello cherry, plum and mulberry intermixed with toasted brioche, slate and earth. Intensely pure raspberry and plum notes on the palate with whole cluster bringing lavender aromas, savory notes, deep structure and a velvety texture to the party, all framed by the vibrant acidity that is hallmark for the site.

Aromatic notes of fresh rose, dark cherry and laurel. Secondary aromatics push cinnamon and clove. Bold tannins frame a vibrant cherry core, pine tar and ripe raspberry. Medium-bodied with a fresh and lengthy finish accented with vanilla and allspice.

Winemaker – Ross Reedy

The 2021 Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot Noir consists of 3 vineyards from within the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. Trout Gulch, Alfaro Family, and Lester Family vineyards all have their unique clonal materials, site elevation, and soil composition, which help showcase the Santa Cruz Mountains as a whole in this bottling.

Harvested on 9/6/22, 9/13/22, and 9/15/22, consisting of a blend of 25% Lester Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, 50% Alfaro Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, and 25% Trout Gulch Vineyard Pinot Noir. The finished wine was fermented with 50% whole cluster and aged in neutral french oak. The wine was bottled on 8/12/23.

none provided

Observe the noticeable deep red leathery color, a result of extra long skin-extraction during primary fermentation followed by an incredible 42 months of elevage in the most delicate and fine French-oak barrels. On the nose is an abundance of fresh fruit and red berries, with a fragrant bouquet of rose petals. There is an initial burst of plum and black current on the tongue, followed by a fresh-after-the-rain earthiness with wild-flower herbaceous accents. This gives way to an elegant and sophisticated velvety softness all the way in the far corners of the palate, providing a strong sense of place and an overall long-lingering satisfaction.

All of our wines are grown, crushed, fermented, aged and bottled right here at our vineyard.  From vine to bottle, wine does not leave here until you take it home!

The heart of Kings Mountain Pinot Noir is Clone #13, derived from the vineyards of Louis Martini. Believed to have originated from cuttings transported from Burgundy, Martini is one of the oldest Pinot Noir clones in California. In homage to its Burgundian roots, the Clone 13 label depicts the beautiful 1920’s Chateau-like theater that graces our estate property.

Aromas of elderberry and wild blackberry with cinnamon, red cedar, and a touch of orange peel. On the palate, an exciting sinewy tension that portends even better things to come with age. Pairs well with family gatherings and mushroom risotto.

In a growing season marred by heat and fire throughout much of California, Corralitos’ temperate and relatively isolated Pleasant Valley managed to largely avoid both.  Under the careful stewardship of Prudy Foxx, Saveria vineyard produced an absolutely fantastic crop in an otherwise troubled year.

Made with minimal new oak, the 2020 Saveria Pinot Noir sings with vivid red fruit and bracing acidity– two of Saveria’s signature characteristics.  She’s fresh, lively and structured for the long haul in your cellar, while still being relatively approachable now. 

Due to low yields in a challenging vintage year, this was the largest production we made for the year, at only 200 cases.  There’s not a lot of 2020 Pinot Noir, but what we did get is really fun and special.  Enjoy!

92 points, Wine Enthusiast

Red-plum, carnation and rose-petal aromas make for a detailed, fresh nose on this bottling. There’s a tight raspberry and cranberry combination on the palace, which is tightly wound, crisp and lively deep into the finish

Rich, complex and luscious. The dark cherry fruit characteristic of our vineyard is layered with spice, orange peel, mint and earthy loam. A long, lingering finish and a soft, velvety mouthfeel make this wine truly a sensory experience. It will bottle age beautifully. In addition to our signature silky mouthfeel, it enjoys the balanced acidity and minerality characteristic of our high elevation (at 2600′) Santa Cruz Mountains vineyard.

Vineyard and Region Information

When you are setting out to produce Pinot Noir that is evocative of the old world, there are very few places in the new world where one can achieve that. The region that we feel has been most successful in this regard is the extreme California coast – those vineyards planted within six miles of the Pacific and the cooling fog that rolls in off the ocean. The Corralitos foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains are just a few miles from the deep waters and abundant fog of Monterey Bay. It has proven over the years to be one of our favorite places to source Pinot Noir as every year we get enough fog and cooling from the ocean to allow the grapes to ripen slowly. The net effect is great physiological ripeness at low sugar levels, along with well lignified stems. We believe these are essential to produce great Pinot.

Vintage Notes

The 2019 growing season was preceded by a wet winter with several rainstorms spread out between November 2018 through end of May 2019, totaling around 70 inches in rain. Bud break was late due to the cold, wet soils, but an early June heat wave with temps >100F caused the vines and cover crops to take off. Despite a few late rain events, there was good weather for bloom and fruit set and the crop was above average. In general, most picks began a bit later than normal (mid to late September). The exception was Corralitos. The marine layer was weak for most of the 2019 growing season and there was very little fog on the coast, so Corralitos experienced a warm vintage. We picked this Pinot Noir on 9/19, before the Estate, a reversal of normal.

Wine Notes

This is the last of our 2019 vintage Pinots to release. The fruit is mostly Mount Eden clone with 667 and Swan. We utilized 100% whole clusters with indigenous yeast fermentation, then aged 18 months is custom special light toast French oak barrels (roughly 20% new). 144 cases produced. 13% abv.

This wine is a delicate burgundy color in glass, with a heady perfumed, baking spice and cherry nose. It has ultra fine texture with unctuous body that begs for another sip. Tannins combine with just enough acidity to keep the delicate cherry palate vibrant and alive.

Wine Review

“A rusty hue in the glass, this bottling is loaded with bay leaf, sage and wild thyme aromas on the nose, as well as pomegranate and sharp sumac notes. There’s a gritty grip to the palate, where roasted cherry tomato, cranberry and orange rind flavors make for a very flavorful expression.” 94 points -Matt Kettman, Wine Enthusiast

“Dried cherry, smoked pork, crushed rock and bay leaf aromas make for a complex nose on this bottling. The palate is loaded with wild flavors of smoke and cured meat as well as cleaner fruit tones of cranberry and orange rind.” -Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast

Abundant floral and spice elements up front lead to a ripe Bing cherry and blackberry core on the palate. This wine has a rich, velvety texture with well-integrated tannins and acidity – all the hallmarks of our flagship vineyard.

Mindego Ridge Pinot Noir is intense and dark fruited. The acidity and ample tannin make this one of the more impactful wines we make. 

VINEYARD

Mindego Ridge Vineyard is located at the western end of Alpine Rd. near the town of La Honda. It is a perfectly exposed south facing hillside in a very cool spot. Planted in 2009, the nine acres of Pinot Noir here are lovingly farmed by Dave and Stacey Gollnick. The clay loam over shale soils produce wines of great intensity. This is one of the more exciting new plantings in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

PRODUCTION NOTES

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.

TECHNICAL DATA

ACID 5.6

PH 3.44

ALCOHOL 13.5%

Pale to medium ruby in color, the 2017 Pinot Noir Mindego Ridge Vineyard very slowly blossoms to aromas of red and black cherries, bay leaf, loam, dried flowers and hints of bouquet garni. The palate is medium-bodied and intense, gaining in amplitude as it swirls in the mouth. It has a firm, fine-grained frame and addicting juicy freshness, finishing long and spicy.

Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate. 94 points.

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.

  • Chaine d’Or Vineyards: 100% single vineyard – 33-year-old vines – 100% Chardonnay
  • Farming: Sustainable with organic and biodynamic practices
  • Harvest: September 30th, 2019
  • Winemaking: 100% whole cluster pressed, French traditional method, sur lies – native yeast
    fermentation, unfiltered, unfined
  • Ageing: 100% French Oak, 10 months – 4 and 5-year old barrels
  • Production: 125 cases

91 points tasting.com

Native fermentation, 18 months in French and Hungarian Oak. Aromas and flavors of black cherry and fig, kola nut, chocolate fudge, and pipe tobacco and baking spices with a round, tangy, dryish medium body and a warming, captivating, medium-long finish with nuances of baked black cherry, chocolate mocha, nutmeg, and leather and clove with chalky, woody tannins and light oak flavor. For those that love ripe and juicy Pinot Noir, this is a delightful sipper.

VINEYARD: Located at ~2500 feet of elevation in the South Skyline region of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Ascona Vineyard is farmed with dedicated 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: We made this wine from a collection of small, native yeast ferments in open top tanks, 100% whole clusters. We treat each fermentation individually, tasting them daily to assess the maceration and extraction. After the primary fermentation completes, we press and store the wine in neutral French oak barrels for 9 months. This wine is unfined and unfiltered, please expect some solids in the bottle. We made this wine thoughtfully to show itself best with age. Enjoy now or cellar 5 – 12 years for savoring at its peak. 1148 bottles produced, 13.3% ABV. 

TASTING NOTES: Aromas of bing cherry, light baking spice and dried herbs. Lively on the palate, this Pinot pairs with wild mushroom risotto and family gatherings.

On the palate, this Cabernet delivers a full-bodied experience with youthful tannins. Black fruit flavors dominate, complemented by hints of dark chocolate and the subtle presence of aniseed further enriches the flavor profile, providing an intriguing herbal note. The wine showcases excellent balance, with vibrant acidity providing freshness and structure, leading to a long, satisfying finish.

Established in 1980, this dry-farmed vineyard is nestled near the town of Aptos in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Light straw in color, this wine has crisp citrus flavors (think lemon and lime) that jump out of the glass. Aged 8 months in neutral French oak, 250 cases produced.

none provided

Observe the noticeable deep red leathery color, a result of extra long skin-extraction during primary fermentation followed by an incredible 42 months of elevage in the most delicate and fine French-oak barrels. On the nose is an abundance of fresh fruit and red berries, with a fragrant bouquet of rose petals. There is an initial burst of plum and black current on the tongue, followed by a fresh-after-the-rain earthiness with wild-flower herbaceous accents. This gives way to an elegant and sophisticated velvety softness all the way in the far corners of the palate, providing a strong sense of place and an overall long-lingering satisfaction.

There are notes of ripe black currants, black plum, cedar, wet rocks, toasted oak and delicate oak spices. The palate is full bodied and multi-layered with a beautiful harmony between ripe fruit, oak, and earth flavors which reflect the nose

90 Points – Wine Enthusiast

Vineyard
The vineyard sits at 1700’ elevation on an old lake bed, looking down at the Monterey Bay over Eureka Canyon in Corralitos.  Being only 5 miles away from the Pacific Ocean, the maritime cooling influence, aka fog, creeps up Eureka Canyon and nestles in just below the vineyard, making it appear as if you are standing on an island in the sun, with the ability to step off the island and swim in the fog.  Soils are grey sandstone and clay primarily, with marble or limestone deep down.  40 year-old vines, mostly dry-farmed, clone 4, 76, 95 and 809.

Winemaker Notes
2021 was a spectacular growing season– one of the two best I’ve seen in my career– and it’s most evident in the chardonnay from Split Rail.  The long, even-temped summer season allowed full ripening with relatively low sugars, which is essential for Split Rail Chardonnay because it can finally release some of it’s otherwise searing acidity.  I’d worked with the vineyard for 12 vintages by 2021, and it was always a process of chasing that perfect balance of acidity and roundness that drove me, and the desired results have sometimes eluded me in the past.  Not so with 2021.  The aromatics of the 2021 are crispy bright and jump out of the glass with vivid chamomile tea, star jasmine and pineapple guava.  The palate is the same, with snappy acidity that doesn’t sear because it’s backed by enough roundness that smooths the edges in and oh-so-happy way.  There’s Asian Pear, tree-ripened peach and hints of ripe Meyer lemon on the palate, with an almost subliminal glimpse of crème brûlée underneath.

I fully expect this Chardonnay to age magnificently for a minimum of 7 years, though she’s thoroughly enjoyable right now.  For this wine, try making a pesto out of Cilantro instead of Basil, with roasted (not raw) garlic, and stuff it inside a chicken breast that’s lightly rolled in Italian breadcrumbs.

Geek Stuff

  • Hand harvested at 22.0º brix in early October.  pH 3.38, TA 7.8 g/L.  80% malolactic fermentation.
  • Yeasts: D47, CY3079 and BRG.
  • Half tank fermented, half barrel fermented.
  • Aged 11 months sur lie in DAMY Exclusive and Montgillard VAN barrels (Vosge, Alliers, Nevers forests).
  • 23% new oak.
  • 13% alcohol

Reviews
91/Wine Enthusiast (booooooo! I’m getting Matt to taste this one again.  He must have eaten an artichoke first, or something).
Pending/Wine Advocate.

Red-plum, carnation and rose-petal aromas make for a detailed, fresh nose on this bottling. There’s a tight raspberry and cranberry combination on the palace, which is tightly wound, crisp and lively deep into the finish

A special wine for an unusual year, Alternate Juror celebrates new friends and outstanding quality. Hailing from Saveria Vineyard, our 2020 Pinot Noir is a luscious blend of dark cherry and plum, with hints of baking spice.

Bold nose with a velvet texture, experience dark cherry and plum notes, with hints of baking spice, dried cranberry and smoked meat.

This wine received 94 points in Wine Enthusiast.

Saveria Vineyard is one of the highest quality vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Planted and managed by Prudy Foxx in the late 90’s, this vineyard sits on Pleasant Valley, neighbors to the equal Lester Family Vineyard. Discover Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah at this low sitting (600ft) vineyard, embraced by morning fog and hot afternoons.

Aromas: Cherry Kiafa, damp earth, leather, wet leaves, tobacco
Flavors: Cherry liqueur, cherry bitters, cherry pie, green olive, black licorice
Profile: Cheery cherriness, exuberant texture, bright acid. Pair with cheddar burgers and caramelized onions, flank steak with cherry balsamic or stuffed peppers

Tasting notes provided by Laura Ness, wine writer

VINEYARD

The vineyard was densely planted in the year 2000 at elevations reaching 2300 feet above sea level, 17 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The heavily fractured, Vaqueros Sandstone soils and unique mountain micro-climate produce singular, deeply concentrated wines that demonstrate the power and elegance of the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation. The Gist Vineyard is farmed to organic principles with an emphasis on “Living Soils” and bio-diversity.

PRODUCTION NOTES

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.

TECHNICAL DATA

ACID 6.1

PH 3.63

ALCOHOL 14.5%

From our flagship vineyard, this Chardonnay was fermented in French-Oak puncheons and is rich with flavor and a long, lush finish. Hazelnuts and white flowers lead to pure pear and apple fruit, with touches of mineral, honey and vanilla. Aged for 8 months in 29% new French oak, 350 cases produced.

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.

Crumpled lavender, dried beef and crisp black-raspberry aromas make for a complex nose on this bottling. There’s a softer texture on the palate, where muddled cherry, light thyme and a hint of pepper converge.

Vineyard Notes
The Old Corral Pinot is sourced from our Certified Organic Estate Vineyard. Three separate hillside blocks are used to produce this wine with one planted to Swan clone and the others planted to Mt. Eden clone.

Vintage Notes
The 2019 growing season was preceded by a wet winter with several rainstorms spread out between November 2018 through end of May 2019, totaling around 70 inches in rain. Bud break was late due to the cold, wet soils, but an early June heat wave with temps >100F caused the vines and cover crops to take off. Despite a few late rain events, there was good weather for bloom and fruit set and the crop was above average.July and August were relatively cool, slowing veraison, then warming into September for nearly ideal weather for final ripening. In general, most picks began a bit later than normal (mid to late September). All together, a very good growing season.

Wine Notes
Deeply spicy and perfumed nose where one has to hunt for the fruit layered beneath the surface. Black cherries, pomegranate, wild berries all emerge with air. Bright and expansive on the palate with fine grained tannins and ample extract to carry the berry flavors long and with length. The purity of fruit is stunning which is a theme we have seen repeated among 2019 vintage wines.

Cabernet Sauvignon is legendary in the Santa Cruz Mountains, The famed Monte Bello and Mount Eden vineyards have grown and crafted epic Cabernet for generations. Forty miles south, tucked into the redwoods and live oak savannahs on the back side of Mount Madonna and cooled by the breezes off the Monterey Bay that come over Hecker Pass, the Bates ranch cares for some of the most special old vine Cabernet in the region.

Vöcal was lucky enough to be offered an allocation of hillside rows of Cabernet Sauvignon off the original dry-farmed, own-rooted 1969 planting on the Ranch. The wine is spicy and rich and displays the chiseled elegance of old vine Cabernet. Our Cabernet is about honesty over cosmetics.

Vineyard
The vineyard sits at 1700’ elevation on an old lake bed, looking down at the Monterey Bay over Eureka Canyon in Corralitos.  Being only 5 miles away from the Pacific Ocean, the maritime cooling influence, aka fog, creeps up Eureka Canyon and nestles in just below the vineyard, making it appear as if you are standing on an island in the sun, with the ability to step off the island and swim in the fog.  Soils are grey sandstone and clay primarily, with marble or limestone deep down.  40 year-old vines, mostly dry-farmed, clone 4, 76, 95 and 809.

Winemaker Notes
2021 was a spectacular growing season– one of the two best I’ve seen in my career– and it’s most evident in the chardonnay from Split Rail.  The long, even-temped summer season allowed full ripening with relatively low sugars, which is essential for Split Rail Chardonnay because it can finally release some of it’s otherwise searing acidity.  I’d worked with the vineyard for 12 vintages by 2021, and it was always a process of chasing that perfect balance of acidity and roundness that drove me, and the desired results have sometimes eluded me in the past.  Not so with 2021.  The aromatics of the 2021 are crispy bright and jump out of the glass with vivid chamomile tea, star jasmine and pineapple guava.  The palate is the same, with snappy acidity that doesn’t sear because it’s backed by enough roundness that smooths the edges in and oh-so-happy way.  There’s Asian Pear, tree-ripened peach and hints of ripe Meyer lemon on the palate, with an almost subliminal glimpse of crème brûlée underneath.

I fully expect this Chardonnay to age magnificently for a minimum of 7 years, though she’s thoroughly enjoyable right now.  For this wine, try making a pesto out of Cilantro instead of Basil, with roasted (not raw) garlic, and stuff it inside a chicken breast that’s lightly rolled in Italian breadcrumbs.

Geek Stuff

  • Hand harvested at 22.0º brix in early October.  pH 3.38, TA 7.8 g/L.  80% malolactic fermentation.
  • Yeasts: D47, CY3079 and BRG.
  • Half tank fermented, half barrel fermented.
  • Aged 11 months sur lie in DAMY Exclusive and Montgillard VAN barrels (Vosge, Alliers, Nevers forests).
  • 23% new oak.

TBD

Mindego Ridge Pinot Noir is intense and dark fruited. The acidity and ample tannin make this one of the more impactful wines we make. 

VINEYARD

Mindego Ridge Vineyard is located at the western end of Alpine Rd. near the town of La Honda. It is a perfectly exposed south facing hillside in a very cool spot. Planted in 2009, the nine acres of Pinot Noir here are lovingly farmed by Dave and Stacey Gollnick. The clay loam over shale soils produce wines of great intensity. This is one of the more exciting new plantings in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

PRODUCTION NOTES

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.

TECHNICAL DATA

ACID 5.6

PH 3.44

ALCOHOL 13.5%

Pale to medium ruby in color, the 2017 Pinot Noir Mindego Ridge Vineyard very slowly blossoms to aromas of red and black cherries, bay leaf, loam, dried flowers and hints of bouquet garni. The palate is medium-bodied and intense, gaining in amplitude as it swirls in the mouth. It has a firm, fine-grained frame and addicting juicy freshness, finishing long and spicy.

Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate. 94 points.

88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot

96 Points – Karen MacNeil, Decanter
95 Points + Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast
94+ Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
93 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
92 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
92 Points – Wine & Spirits

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Saturated purple color with black cherry, plum, black tea, cedar and sweet toasted oak on the nose. Bramble fruit, vanilla, and mint on the palate with well-coated tannins and a long finish. JO (6/21)

Winemaking

Harvest Dates: 27 September – 19 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.4˚
TA: 6.70 g/L
pH: 3.60
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and sorted; 100% whole berries fermented on the native yeasts. Pressed at nine days. Natural malolactic initiated in tank, finished in barrel with additional ten weeks of lees contact.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (58% new, 8% one year-old, and 34% two years-old).
Aging: Sixteen months in barrel

Hand-harvested, estate-grown grapes; destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 133 ppm during aging); four egg whites per barrel for tannin reduction; depth filtration at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

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.

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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.

VINEYARD

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.

PRODUCTION NOTES

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.

TECHNICAL DATA

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.

A classic, cool-climate Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet. On the nose: sandalwood, lavendar, vanilla. The tannins are soft and well-integrated with flavors of wild blueberry, cedar, vanilla, forest floor. Will bottle age nicely.

  • Chaine d’Or Vineyards: 100% single vineyard, 31 year old vines
  • Farming: Sustainable with organic and biodynamic practices
  • Harvest: October 19th 2018
  • Winemaking: French traditional method, 2 pump-overs / day – native yeast fermentation,
    unfiltered
  • pH: 3.64, TA: 0.62, alcohol content: 14%
  • Ageing: 60% French Oak / 40% American – 16 months, 43% new oak
  • Final blend: 81% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 5% Cabernet-Franc
  • Production: 130 cases

Located at 1,400 feet elevation, Maison Areion prides itself in making Artisan Quality Wines from its 2 acres parcel – Chaine d’Or Vineyards. The natural higher acidity characteristics of the Santa Cruz Mountains has enabled this vineyard to produce Cabernet-Sauvignon wines with elegant tannins since 1987.

On the palate, this Cabernet delivers a full-bodied experience with youthful tannins. Black fruit flavors dominate, complemented by hints of dark chocolate and the subtle presence of aniseed further enriches the flavor profile, providing an intriguing herbal note. The wine showcases excellent balance, with vibrant acidity providing freshness and structure, leading to a long, satisfying finish.

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.

There are notes of ripe black currants, black plum, cedar, wet rocks, toasted oak and delicate oak spices. The palate is full bodied and multi-layered with a beautiful harmony between ripe fruit, oak, and earth flavors which reflect the nose.

90 Points – Wine Enthusiast

The medium-bodiesdwine is a rich ruby color. Aromatic elements of cedar plank and cigar box upfront lead to ripe plum and black currant flavors on the palate; subtle notes of white pepper give it up bright, spicy finish. This wine has a rich texture with well integrated tannins and acidity. 115 cases produced, 40% new French Oak for 12 months. 

Big aromas of oak, graphite, black currant and black cherry. On the palate this wine has flavors of forest floor, big chewy tannins with a firm back bone of acidity.

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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.

“Stewed cherry, caramel, cola and pepper aromas show on the nose of this single-vineyard expression. Strong cedar and mahogany flavors frame the rich and ripe cherry core of the palate, where peppery spices ride into the palate. Matt Kettmann” – 90/100Wine Enthusiast

The heritage of Mount Eden Cabernet Sauvignon dates back to the 1890s, when the famed viticulturist Emmett Rixford of Woodside, California, obtained selected cuttings from Chateau Margaux in Bordeaux, France. Rixford planted his famous La Questa Vineyard with these selections, in the same proportions as found at Margaux.

In the late 1940s Martin Ray planted his first Cabernet vineyard with cuttings from the La Questa Vineyard. The present-day Estate Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted in the early 1980s using cuttings taken from these vines. Yields are low, typically one to two tons per acre. Soils are very thin (1-12 inches), with a dominant base of Franciscan shale. The climate is cool, especially for Cabernet, and influenced by the vineyard’s altitude and its proximity to San Francisco bay and the Pacific Ocean. The vines are trellised in a modern fashion, which allows for a more uniform ripening. The vineyard also contains small blocks of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

A big Cab for hearty fare with intense berry fruit & complexities of bittersweet chocolate, briar and earth. Rustic mountain Cab with a finish that goes on & on.

Cabernet Sauvignon is legendary in the Santa Cruz Mountains, The famed Monte Bello and Mount Eden vineyards have grown and crafted epic Cabernet for generations. Forty miles south, tucked into the redwoods and live oak savannahs on the back side of Mount Madonna and cooled by the breezes off the Monterey Bay that come over Hecker Pass, the Bates ranch cares for some of the most special old vine Cabernet in the region.

Vöcal was lucky enough to be offered an allocation of hillside rows of Cabernet Sauvignon off the original dry-farmed, own-rooted 1969 planting on the Ranch. The wine is spicy and rich and displays the chiseled elegance of old vine Cabernet. Our Cabernet is about honesty over cosmetics.

A blend of four Santa Cruz Mountain vineyards, this wine is full of complexity and nuance. Dark fruit flavors are met with sweet oak, and notes of tobacco and potpourri. This Cabernet Sauvignon is full bodied with firmly structured tannins and a long, full finish.

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.

Limited in production, the “Small Lot” Cabernet is vinified using the same small-scale techniques employed for Kathryn Kennedy’s estate wine. Aged in a combination of French and American oak, this wine shows classic Santa Cruz Mountains brambly black fruits with woodsy spice and distinct mineral notes on a balanced, supple palate.

The 2019 Santa Cruz Mountains Merlot marks the inaugural release of this new bottling, and we are thrilled to share the final product with you. 

Immediately upon opening the wine is black bramble, cedar, tobacco wrapper, and an almost enveloping sense of depth. 

Upfront the fruit profile is dark and almost brooding, but as the wine evolves over your palate the fruit turns brighter; think pomegranate, currant, and alpine blueberries. 

The juxtaposition is engaging and brings life to the end palate in the form of bright acidity and a gripping mouthfeel that lingers long after the wine has passed. 

For food pairings I would consider something high in both protein and fat; you can go classic with a grilled or roasted cut of beef, or spice things up with yakitori. 

Drink now – 2030 and serve at cellar temperature in all-purpose stemware. 

88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot

96 Points – Karen MacNeil, Decanter
95 Points + Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast
94+ Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
93 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
92 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
92 Points – Wine & Spirits

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Saturated purple color with black cherry, plum, black tea, cedar and sweet toasted oak on the nose. Bramble fruit, vanilla, and mint on the palate with well-coated tannins and a long finish. JO (6/21)

Winemaking

Harvest Dates: 27 September – 19 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.4˚
TA: 6.70 g/L
pH: 3.60
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and sorted; 100% whole berries fermented on the native yeasts. Pressed at nine days. Natural malolactic initiated in tank, finished in barrel with additional ten weeks of lees contact.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (58% new, 8% one year-old, and 34% two years-old).
Aging: Sixteen months in barrel

Hand-harvested, estate-grown grapes; destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 133 ppm during aging); four egg whites per barrel for tannin reduction; depth filtration at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

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.

Production

3,478

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.

Using a special piece of machinery that heat treats specific rows of the vineyard in rapid motion, it decreases the number of mildew sprays and actually increases the phenolics (important flavor contributors) in the grape skins. This results in amplified aromas and black/red fruit characteristics with unusual complexity and layering.

TBD

Unfined and unfiltered.  Free Run Only.   Appellation:  Santa Cruz Mountains AVA  |  Clones: 113, 114 |  Aged: 22 Months 50% New French Oak  |  Alcohol:  13.9% 

Production:  only 25 boxes ; 100% Single Vineyard Saveria Vineyards planted in 2001. Sustainable viticulture using organic and biodynamic working methods; handpicking; traditional French methods; 30% whole grape fermentation; Fermentation with natural yeasts, also malolactic fermentation, 100% barrique aging in French 228 l barrels on Bernou, Sirugue and Francois Freres; unfined, unfiltered. 14.0% vol.

– JoS, tasted in October 2022: “14.0% vol; only 25 cases produced; attractive, strong ruby-purple red with violet reflections; attractive nose with aromas of blue berries, white pepper, herbs, minerals, plums, blackberries, wet stones; intense on the palate, medium strong + body, but also radiates a certain coolness, medium + acidity, mineral, also lots of herbs, finely creamy rounded; Spice, herbs, white pepper again and again, minerals, blue berries, cool blackberries, black cherries, mouth-watering, precise and pure, very exciting, complex, long, fresh and long finish, very pleasant fresh aftertaste. This is not a banal wine, the wine has tension, great energy, great vitality, has strength and mobility. A super interesting wine! Decant. Zalto Bordeaux glass.”

– MEININGERS WEINWELT (11/2023) : “Scented sachet, very expressive, tar, black lilac, very dark fruit, lots of extract, juniper berries, blueberries, black currants, lots of everything , also lots of sweet new wood; syrupy, lilac berry juice, elderberry juice, invigorating acidity.”

– 
NICOLAS VONDERHEYDEN : ” This is a bigger wine, 100% new oak aged, very dark and flavors of ripe dark red currents .”

The grapes for this Petite Sirah come from the Saveria Vineyard in the southern Santa Cruz Mountains, overlooking Monterey Bay. This area is one of the most important parts of the appellation . The soil consists of deep alluvial sand with calcareous marine deposits . The vineyard is tended by Prudy Foxx, also known as “the Vine Whisperer.” She has patiently and cleverly nurtured and perfected the vines over the years. Since one of the wines from this vineyard received high ratings, the demand for grapes from this vineyard has been very high.  The gentle slope lies at an altitude of around 220 meters, not far from the town of Aptos. The morning fog clears around midday, creating a cycle of not-too-warm days and cool nights. This leads to slow ripening of the grapes and exciting, complex aromas.

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The Betchart Vineyard is located high up on Montebello Road. This steeply terraced and rocky vineyard produces beautiful fruit.

94 points- Wine & Spirits Magazine

94 points- Antonio Galloni, Vinous

This 2022 Vin de California Pet-Nat highlights a blend of organically farmed vineyards along the coast. Warmer days help the grapes achieve phenolic ripening while cool evening breezes retain freshness. The Zinfandel is sourced from Komrosky Vineyard and the Pinot Noir from a new vineyard in the Madson portfolio, Marine Terrace. Perched above Watsonville, this vineyard rests on a terrace of ancient marine sandstone soils. 

At harvest, fruit is pressed to extract limited color and phenolics. Fermentation occurred spontaneously and naturally. The wine is bottled with natural sugars still present for effervescence and “sans soufre” (without sulfur).  

This wine has immense depth, with a tropical burst on the nose. Notes of guava, salted watermelon and strawberry, with fresh acidity on the palate.

A superb follow up to our first Chardonnay vintage, this 2020 De Novo commands any room and palate. Enjoy the zippy acidity, mouth-coating white peaches and cream with aromas of chamomile and star jasmine.

This wine received 90 points in Wine Enthusiast.

Meet aromas of chamomile and star jasmine up front, with a touch of stone fruit. The palate is expansive and mouth-coating white peaches and creams, backend by pronounced, maritime minerality and plenty of zippy acidity to help the wine stand up to dishes from shellfish to roasted chicken. This Chardonnay is from 1 acre of Robert Young clone. This Clone is known for a viscosity and richness that is quite distinctive and readily apparent in the glass. While remarkably accessible now, this wine should develop quite well over the next 4-7 years.

Our fruit hails from Lester Family Vineyards in Corralitos. We are honored to use fruit from this celebrated family vineyard in Corralitos. Sitting at 500 feet elevation on Pleasant Valley Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains, fruit from this vineyard is a delight. Influenced by morning fog, temperatures rise during the day, providing excellent conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit.

Fermented and aged in specially designed 600L French oak barrels, this wine develops an unusual richness of flavor and delicate complexity.

Aromas: Cherry Kiafa, damp earth, leather, wet leaves, tobacco
Flavors: Cherry liqueur, cherry bitters, cherry pie, green olive, black licorice
Profile: Cheery cherriness, exuberant texture, bright acid. Pair with cheddar burgers and caramelized onions, flank steak with cherry balsamic or stuffed peppers

Tasting notes provided by Laura Ness, wine writer

La Vida Bella’s Estate 2020 Brilliante Brut is light, fresh and crisp with notes of stone fruit and green apple. Made from our estate fruit by Dan Persons of Carboniste, located in Sonoma.

Organically-grown, handcrafted, award-winning wines produced in small lots since 1979, our wines are both elegant and complex while maintaining balance between being powerful and also delicate. Silver Mountain offers one of the widest selections of wines in the Santa Cruz Mountains including gold medal-winning Pinot Noirs, Estate Chardonnays, Bordeaux Blends, Bold Cabernets, Rich Syrahs, and Beautiful Rosés.

Located high in the Santa Cruz mountains with spectacular views of the Monterey Bay, our warm summer days and cool nights balance to produce a longer hang-time for our fruit, maximizing the flavor of our award-winning premium wines.

A perfect shade of medium pink, this is a standard, down-the-middle rose. Lemon, watermelon and fresh-cut cherry-tomato notes play on the nose, while the palate packs raspberry and Key-lime flavors -Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast

“Warm aromas of orange Creamsicle and citrus-blossom extract meet with sharper edges of grapefruit peel and petrol on the nose of this bottling by the winemaker behind Kathryn Kennedy wines. It’s dry as a bone on the palate, where cement, lemongrass and lime-leaf flavors give verve to the honeydew core.” -Matt Kettmann

RATING 92
DESIGNATION Alfaro Vineyard
VARIETY Grüner Veltliner
APPELLATION Santa Cruz Mountains, Central Coast, California, US
WINERY M. Mathis Winegrower
ALCOHOL 12.5%”

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.

We select various Pinot Noir lots at harvest and drain the juice (saigneé) minutes after crush. Barrel fermented in neutral French Oak and aged for eight months.

A beautiful rosy pink color.  Expressive grapefruit-citrus aromas with hints of pickled cherry.  Alive with acidity and juicy red fruits on the palate. A perfect summer quaff, serve lightly chilled.

Believe it or not this Rose can age well, given the provenance of our Pinot Noir vineyards.

This rosé of Pinot Noir is produced from three special rows within Hidden Block. A vibrant red in color, its strawberry and citrus flavors are juicy and bright on the nose and on the palate. Refreshing acidity rounds out this very drinkable rosé. Drink now, and through 2023.

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