The feminine nature of this medium-to-light bodied wine is characterized by heady fragrances of red cherry, strawberry, dried flowers, baking spice, cola and vanilla with forward flavors of ripe cherry and a core of bacon, mushroom and umami. These qualities are structured with bright acidity and supple tannins in the presence of a full mouthfeel, silky texture, and a lingering finish of spicy orange zest, vanilla, sweet toasted oak and minerals. 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.
Grapes were harvested from Saveria Vineyard along the western slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains near the town of Corralitos. This Pleasant Valley property is situated five miles from the coast at 400 feet of elevation where mild daytime temperatures and cool breezes from Monterey Bay combine with deep sandy-loam soils to produce graceful, yet powerful qualities on the nose and palate.
Eight acres of Dijon Pinot Noir clones were planted north-to-south in 2001 on a former apple orchard and later trained to open lyre trellising. Clone 115 produces wines with wonderful aromatics and spiciness while those made from clone 667 are known for their exceptional body, intense color and robust structure.
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.