Santa Cruz Mountains – The Gorgeous 2016s

In his most recent article on Vinous Antonio Galloni writes, "readers who appreciate the transparency and nuance of site-specific Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Bordeaux blends will adore the 2016s from the Santa Cruz Mountains. The wines are aromatically nuanced, delineated and highly expressive of their origins. After brutally low yields in 2015, Mother Nature was more generous in 2016. Yields are never especially high in the mountains, but producers had enough fruit to bottle all of their labels, a highly positive development compared to 2015, when a number of wines weren't made at all. As always, I am struck by the complexity and world-class pedigree that seems to come naturally in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a bucolic, seemingly remote region that is in reality quite close to Silicon Valley and some of the most vibrant communities in the United States." Enjoy the his tasting notes below to see which wines you might want to stock up on. Cheers!

Ridge Vineyards

Monte Bello Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2015

Delectable Wine
9.8

The 2015 Monte Bello is just as phenomenal in this tasting as it has always been. Explosive and powerful in the glass, with fabulous textural richness, the 2015 has a lot to say. Super-ripe red and purplish berry fruit, rose petal and spice add myriad shades of complexity as this towering Monte Bello shows off its personality and pedigree. Rain during bloom reduced the crop significantly. Moderate temperatures with no heat spikes led to a long, relatively cool growing season. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 2 months ago

Turbo, Shay and 29 others liked this

Varner

El Camino Vineyard Chardonnay 2015

Delectable Wine
9.2

The 2015 Chardonnay El Camino Vineyard is striking. Lemon confit, orange peel and tropically leaning flavors make a strong opening statement. Broad and ample on the palate, with plenty of supporting acids, the El Camino is a wonderfully complete wine, not to mention a terrific value. Drink it over the next handful of years. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 2 months ago

Phil, Hermes and 16 others liked this

Rhys Vineyards

Family Farm Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Delectable Wine
9.4

The 2016 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard is beautifully lifted and precise. Bright red berry fruit and floral notes are nicely layered in a Pinot that speaks to understatement and class. In this range, the Family Farm stands out for its crystalline precision and nuance. All the elements are simply in the right place. The 2016 was done with 15% stems, the least Rhys has used for the Family Farm. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 2 months ago

Shay, Phil and 19 others liked this

Calera

Reed Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

Delectable Wine
9.4

The 2015 Pinot Noir Reed Vineyard emerges from a northern facing slope that is always the last to be harvested. Silky and succulent on the palate, with terrific vibrancy, the Reed is also quite open today. Like most of these wines, the Reed offers notable purity and freshness throughout. Best of all, it should drink well with minimal cellaring. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 2 months ago

Shay, Phil and 18 others liked this

Big Basin Vineyards

Monterey Pinot Noir 2016

Delectable Wine
9.3

The 2016 Pinot Noir Monterey County is a gorgeous appellation-level wine, not to mention just flat out delicious. A wine of impeccable balance and total class, the 2016 is impossible to resist. A high percentage (85%) of whole clusters adds layers of aromatic nuance without pushing the wine into realm of greenness. Sweet red cherry, tobacco, mint, crushed flowers and mint are some of the many nuances that develop in the glass. Fruit sources are Coastview and Kevin Olson. The Monterey County is bottled after about eleven months in barrel, earlier than the vineyard designates. There is so much personality and character here. In short, don't miss it! (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 2 months ago

Phil, Hermes and 15 others liked this

Thomas Fogarty

Rapley Trail Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

Delectable Wine
9.3

The 2015 Pinot Noir Rapley Trail Vineyard is one of the most reticent and tightly wound wines in this lineup. Saline and focused to the core, the 2015 is a Pinot build on mineral-driven intensity. Readers will have to give the 2015 at least a few years to unwind. There is plenty of potential, but the 2015 Rapley is in no mood to show it today. The long, beautifully persistent finish hints at a bright future. In 2015, Fogarty did not bottle any of their single block wines from Rapley Trail. All of the fruit went into this, the main Pinot off the site. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2018) — 2 months ago

Shay, Phil and 23 others liked this
Hermes Cuello

Hermes Cuello Influencer Badge

I love this winery, fantastic Pinot!