Yesterday Dave and I drove up to San Francisco to sample some new and upcoming releases from several of the Santa Cruz Mountains producers. I followed a strategy to go from white to light to darker reds, with an emphasis on Pinot Noirs, so I bounced around quite a bit. (Notes are posted in order of tasting for your inconvenience.) As always, there wasn't time to get to everything. I skipped Ridge because those are wines I'll be trying Friday when visiting with an out of town friend. Unfortunately, Kathryn Kennedy had packed up by the time I was ready to try them. (The crowd had died down quite a bit near the end, so perhaps they just decided to finish pouring what was open and then take off.) Anyway, tasted a lot of excellent wines...
River Run '10 Viognier (Santa Cruz County)
Nose - clean, hay, sweet pea, touch of lemon, pith.
Pert lemon, sweet pea, hay, pith. Nice early drinker. 88 pts
Quinta Cruz '10 Verdelho Silvaspoons Vyd. (Alta Mesa)
Nose - rich, custardy, nutty.
Lovely, rich, nutty, lemon custard. Trails off. Young? 87 pts
Mount Eden '09 Chardonnay Estate (SCM)
Nose - full, elegantly rich, hazelnut, lemon custard, complex spice.
Gorgeous, packed, good acid,lemon, sour grass, nutmeg. Just so complex! Very young. Drink '22-'36. 96 pts
Fogarty '08 Chardonnay (SCM)
Nose - smooth, creamy, notes of anise, lime and lemon.
Smooth but flat, awkward blend of grass, lemon, spice. 86+ pts
Fogarty '09 Pinot Noir (SCM)
Nose - good intensity,lovely savory herbs.
Peppery, rhubarb, white pepper, pith, button mushroom. 89 pts
Bargetto '09 Pinot Noir Reserve (SCM)
Nose - shy, dusty/smooth, refined spice, dark fruit.
Smooth tannin, dark fruit, refined complexity, touch of graphite, black cherry, dried leaf, chamomile. Touch of bitter herb on the finish. Drink '14-'20. 92 pts
Sonnet '09 Pinot Noir Muns Vyd. (SCM)
Nose - reserved, rich, custardy, peppercorn.
Custard, white pepper, cherry, nutmeg, cinnamon. Lingers well. Drink '12-'18+. 92 pts
Mount Eden "09 Pinot Noir Estate (SCM)
Nose - gorgeous heady cherry and spices.
Lovely cherry, dark mineral, savory, gorgeous complexity, violets. Drink '12-'27. 95 pts
Domaine Eden '10 Pinot Noir (SCM)
Nose - heady cherry and strawberry, elegant, hint of star anise, white pepper.
Lighter body but intense. Cherry, strawberry, good mineral, violet, white pepper. Drink '12-'16. 92+ pts
Sonnet '09 Pinot Noir Tondre Grapefield (Santa Lucia Highlands)
Nose - nice full SLH expression, with red clay, cinnamon, redwood.
Dark plummy, lots of nutmeg, dusty tannin, clay. 90 pts
Storrs '08 Pinot Noir (SCM)
Nose - creamy, bright, strawberry, vanillin oak spice, dark plum.
Vanillin oak spices, confectionary plummy fruit. 91 pts
Clos LaChance '08 Pinot Noir (SCM)
Nose - smooth plum, raspberry, flan.
Smooth rhubarb, smoke, creamy oak spice, brambly, good mineral. 90 pts
Odonata '11 Petite Sirah Rose
100% pressed juice, barrel fermented. This will be an April club release.
Nose - gorgeous intense strawberry, cherry, plum wine, touches of cinnamon and anise.
Clean gorgeous Strawberry, cherry, plum and lemon. Touch of papaya on the finish. 91 pts
Odonata '09 Pinot Noir Domani Vyd. (SCM)
Nose - heady savory deep fruit, hint of cinnamon.
Lovely spices and savory dragon fruit, hints of cherry, rhubarb, lemon, strawberry. Drink '12-'18. 91 pts
Odonata '09 Malbec Silvaspoons Vyd. (Alta Mesa)
Nose - deep jujube, plum, anise, custard.
Full dusty plum, dragon fruit, hints of cinnamon and cardamon. 91 pts
Odonata '09 Syrah Zayante Vyd. (SCM)
Nose - intense meaty minerally plum, hints of galangal and patchouli.
Lovely savory plum, dark mineral, smoked meat, violet, white pepper. 93 pts
Odonata '09 Petite Sirah Machado Creek (Santa Clara County)
Nose - intense porty blackberry, cinnamon, marachino liquour.
Ripe blackberry, porty cherry, hint of heat, cinnamon, good acid. 90 pts
Damselfly Cellars '09 Sangiovese Machado Creek (Santa Clara County)
(This is Odonata's second label.)
Nose - escorial, delicate slightly meaty red fruit.
Bright cherry and strawberry, dusty tannin, delicate spice, slight meat. 90 pts
Damselfly Cellars '09 Petite Sirah (Monterrey County)
Nose - boysenberry with orange and strawberry.
Tart fruit follows through, ash, fine/dusty tannin. 88 pts
Mount Eden '08 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (SCM)
Nose - dark smooth black currant, blackberry, savory spice, lint of licorice.
Lovely brambly blackbeery and black currant, elegant spice, flan, savory, hint of orange zest. Drink '12-'22. 92+ pts
Domaine Eden '08 Cabernet Sauvignon (SCM)
Nose - smooth intense plum and black currant, hints of cedar and redwood, very classic expression, hint of white pepper.
Classic cedary black currant, smoky plum, good mineral, hints of licorice and violet. Drink '12-'16. 91 pts
Quinta Cruz '09 Tempranillo Pierce Ranch (San Antonio Valley)
Nose - lighter red fruits.
Strawberry, dragon fruit and mango, smooth soft tannin. 89 pts
Quinta Cruz '08 Tempranillo Reserve Pierce Ranch (San Antonio Valley)
(Includes some Touriga and Graciano)
Nose - savory, smoked alder, blackberry, cinnamon, kirsh.
Round soft kirsh, blackberry, cinnamon, red plum. 89 pts
Quinta Cruz '09 Touriga Pierce Ranch (San Antonio Valley)
Nose - lovely cooked orange, plum, kirsh, allspice.
Lovely pert plum, lemon, orange, ginger, cinnamon, Cotlets. 93 pts
Quinta Cruz '09 Graciano Bokisch Vyd. (Clements Hills)
Nose - soft cherry and tellicherry, smoky tea.
Plum, soft peppercorn, raspberry, cinnamon, toasted rice. 90 pts
La Rustican d'Orsa '07 Cinque (SCM)
(These are blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec, made by Jeffrey Patterson.)
Nose - deep fruit, redwood, jalapeno.
Soft full plum and black currant, green peppercorn, redwood, some frosting on the finish. Drink '12-'14. 90 pts
La Rustican d'Orsa '08 Cinque (SCM)
Nose - smoky rubber/tar, deep fruit, hint of red plum, sweaty.
Smoky savory soft plum and black currant, touches of boysenberry, lavender and rosemary. Drink '12-'14. 91 pts
La Rustican d'Orsa '09 Cinque (SCM)
Nose - deep savory soft fruit.
Soft plummy black currant, hint of tellicherry. Drink '12-'15. 90 pts
Nauman '07 Merlot (SCM)
Nose - roasty, meaty, savory, saline plum.
Smoked grain, savory plum, dusty/gritty tannin, roasted pork. Drink '12-'18. 90 pts
Nauman '09 Tre Rosso (SCM)
(60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc)
Nose - tellicherry, soft plum, lavender.
Soft savory plum, hint of jujube, lavender, roasty. 90 pts
Fogarty '06 Merlot (SCM)
Nose - smooth smoky cherry.
Smoky peppery cherry, alderwood, hint of bitter herb. 87 pts
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