Great balance, depth, elegance and finesse. Shows subdued spice and toasted oak, but also plenty of rich, vibrant, concentrated pear, fig and exotic melon flavors with a touch of wet-stone minerality on the nose. A bracing backbone of lemon-lime completes the finish. Refined and built to last, but ready to drink tonight. Age three to five years.
A renowned wine region since the late 1800s, the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the first US appellations to be defined by geophysical and climatic factors. The east and west boundaries are determined by elevation: down to 800 feet in the east, and as low as 400 feet in the west. The footprint lies mostly within Santa Cruz County, but it extends into parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
In 2011, grapes were harvested from the Summit Road district of the Santa Cruz Mountains. This small sub-region lies near the heart of the AVA at about 2,000 feet of elevation and 10 aerial miles from the coast. Vines are dry farmed in sandy-loam mountain soils that provide exceptional drainage.
This prime location offers a tempered maritime climate that is marked by extended periods of sunlight, cool daytime temperatures, and very little fog. The moist air often carries the signature scent of the sea while the combined effect of soil and sunlight engenders chardonnay grapes that translate to wines with expansive aromas and flavors, balanced acidity, and a plush mouthfeel.
Vintage 2011 began with a series of January storms followed by occasional warmth and rain through mid-March. An early April freeze damaged the primary buds of early ripening varieties along most of the Central Coast while the remainder of April and parts of May were exceptionally cool and damp. Temperatures were mild with a few heat spikes in July and August, but veraison was uniformly delayed because of the early frost and cool summer. We harvested before or after storms in September and October, but the vintage was saved by what initially jeopardized it: the frost and rain reduced crop size, allowing the remaining fruit to reach physiological maturity despite the cool summer.