Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2004 Woodside Kings Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Emmet Rixford was one of the early wine-making pioneers in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In 1884 he planted "La Questa", a 40 acre vineyard in the hills above Woodside. The cuttings are said to have been sourced from Chateau Margaux in France. Eventually Rixford died and his sons didn't have the knowledge or vision to maintain the business. For a while the vineyard was managed by Rusty Ray, before finally being subdivided and used for housing. Of those original 40 acres around one acre still exists today, in the gardens of a couple of houses. They may be the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the USA.

The vines were rediscovered by Bob Groetzinger in 1957. His friend Bob Mullen began producing wine from them in 1960 as hobby. The following year Bob Mullen purchased a nearby property, and Woodside Vineyards was bonded in 1963.

Today the winery still manages that first acre and has added 16 or so more recently planted acres that it owns or manages around the town of Woodside. Production is up to about 2,000 cases. The winery makes three Cabernets, labelled Kings Mountain, Estate and - in good years - La Questa, which is sourced exclusively from that single acre.

The 2004 Kings Mountain is a rich, ripe Cabernet, made with grapes from other local vineyards that the winery manages. Lots of blackcurrant, not too much oak, soft tannins. Of the three it's the one that's intended to be drunk in the near term, and it's drinking really well right now. The 2004 is now sold out at the winery; the 2005 is priced at $22 a bottle, which I think is very good value.


VinquireThea said...

Darn! When we were up at Mountain Terrace for passport, they weren't pouring Kings Mtn. Now I'm bummed.

I'll have to go find some elsewhere!