Wine Talk

Snooth User: napagirl68

Santa Cruz Mountains- review of wines, and where should I go this weekend

Posted by napagirl68, Sep 28, 2012.

Below you will find my general opinions on SCM wineries I have visited recently.  I have rated most wines I have tasted in "my wines" so you can look up specific wines by winery.   But what I really want to know is where I have missed.  I am going this weekend and want to hit Burrell school for sure...   I am afraid of Rhys and Ridge because of my previously disclosed spending predilection :-) :-)

Alfaro Vineyards, Corralitos... love it, wine club member

Bargetto.... eehh

Big Basin... love, love, love the syrahs

Bonny Doon... decent rhone varietals, decent pricing, but no big winners lately

Loma Prieta Winery... love, love love their Pinotage! and great views

MJA Vineyards... I am wineclub member.. love his cabs from napa.. lol  and his napa 2011 sauv blanc.. and yes he has a tasting room in SC on the westside...NICE!  although not SC fruit as a rule.

Nicholson Vineyards- Corralitos... beautiful grounds, ok wine.  The cab was decent.

Pleasant valley vineyards - Corralitos- great family operation out of their home, gorgeous yard, good pinots and syrahs, yet too pricey for the area/quality.

Sones Cellars - I really like their white blend, year after year. Yet it is the only thing I like here... it is: 2008 Cancion del mar, White Wine Blend   (Viognier, Torrontes, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc)

Vine Hill... is closed, as per my understanding.  I bought some pinot via KLwines and it is decent, but a bit bigger, and black fruit than i prefer.


Former favs include Roudon Smith/Skov Winery...   owner changed, same winemaker.  AWESOME SCM pinot, but Skov has closed doors. 






Reply by JonDerry, Sep 28, 2012.

Like how you're hitting the less obvious spots in CA...I don't have much experience with the rest, but don't be afraid of the Ridge tasting room, all you have to do to keep it in the limits is recite this montra: "The Monte Bello isn't worth the price" Maybe on release at a low price leading retailer in a good vintage, but not at the Ridge tasting room. Of course, all of the Zin's are more than fairly priced, with some large formats available, and that great view outside on the picnic tables is hard to pass up.

Reply by napagirl68, Sep 28, 2012.

Thanks, JD..:-) :-)

Good mantra for sure!

I am thinking Rhys tho.!  I may come home even more in debt! LOL

BTW.. Here is photo from Loma Prieta winery.. I bought their 3 yr vert Pinotage.. amazing... never liked Pinotage before..

Reply by JonDerry, Sep 28, 2012.

Wow, thanks for the heads up...never heard of this place before. Seems almost cultish with all the Alesia wines made from purchased grapes in addition to their own Rhys vineyards. Didn't see any mention of the Pinotage on the web, but you might have mentioned this was a winery only type thing.

Anyway, looks like your pocket book's in some trouble...

Spring 2013 Release (tentative lineup)

  • 2010 Rhys Family Farm Pinot Noir ($59)
  • 2010 Rhys Bearwallow Vineyard Pinot Noir ($59)
  • 2010 Rhys Alpine Vineyard Chardonnay ($69)
  • 2010 Rhys Skyline Vineyard Pinot Noir ($99)
  • 2009 Rhys Skyline Vineyard Syrah ($59)

And that 2009 Alpine Pinot Noir looks like something, though $109.00 at Benchmark.

Reply by napagirl68, Sep 28, 2012.

Ya, I know... trouble!



Reply by outthere, Sep 28, 2012.

Brain fart, disregard.

Reply by napagirl68, Sep 28, 2012.

JD- here's Loma prieta's link showing the 2008/09 pinotage:

the 2010 was just released the weekend I was there (abt. 2 wks ago).  I don't see it listed yet on their site.  I bought a 2008/09/10.


Reply by napagirl68, Oct 2, 2012.

ok.. quickie update since it is late, and unfortunately, I don't have much to report this time. 

Santa Cruz trip ended up shorter than planned, and I only made it to two wineries.   First on Fri afternoon was MJA to pick up my wineclub selection.  Again, as I previously mentioned, I like many of MJA's wines, but they are mostly fruit from Napa, Sonoma, etc, NOT Santa Cruz Mtns.   But a good time in the tasting room on the Westside, nonetheless.

I had time for one winery on Saturday :-(  Who to pick?  I was all jazzed on Rhys, and thought they had a tasting room based on a blog I was reading last week.  NOT.  They are not open to the public, so no worries about me spending $$$ there.  I have tasted Ridge before, although it has been awhile. I narrowed it down to Burrell School Winery and David Bruce.  Several folks had told me I "must" go to Burrell School, and in the past, I always thought David Bruce was overrated.  So I went to Burrell School.   Bad choice, IMHO.  

I did the "regular" tasting at Burrell school, and was able to taste a few others not on that list.  I found the reds I tasted to be quick, tart, and not complex.  They had all been opened for awhile, so I don't think that was the issue.  I am not into a fruit bomb wine, I understand tannins, wine that needs to age, but this was different. The wines lacked complexity IMO.  Very light, and finished lightening fast.  Maybe they are too young, but I am not, and there are better wines to taste!    The whites also suffered the same fate, except the Viognier, which was semi-drinkable, but unlike any viognier I have tasted.  Almost tasted over-oaked and a bit syrupy.  

The location is a quaint  schoolhouse from the late 1800's, and the view is gorgeous.  It was a popular place, so perhaps my taste buds were off that day?  Anyhoo, I headed home regretting that I had not stopped at David Bruce that day.  

Next excursion is Carmel/Monterey in two weeks.   Hopefully I will have great things to report, as I have much more time, and plan to try several places I've not been before. 

Reply by JonDerry, Oct 2, 2012.

Bummer NG, not too surprising about Rhys, definitely got a little bit of a cultish vibe from their website, and of course their wines seem popular enough to where they don't need to be open to the public. 

Looking forward to hearing about the next venture...

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