Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cooper Garrod

In 1893 the Garrod family purchased several acres of apricot and prune orchards on Mount Eden, close to Saratoga. George Cooper married into the family in 1941. A fighter pilot during WWII, he later became chief research test pilot for NASA.

In 1972 some of the orchards were replanted with Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Following his retirement George tended the vines and made his own wine. In 1994 commercial sales began. George and his son Bill Cooper are the winemakers; George's nephew Jan Garrod is the vineyard manager. The 120 acre ranch currently has around 28 acres planted. All the wines are estate grown; some of the fruit is also sold to other local wineries.

The winery and stables are located off Mount Eden Road, not far from the Mountain Winery and Mount Eden Vineyards. The tasting room is open daily and is in an old wooden building. There are two flights of 3 wines available; the first is complimentary, the second costs $5, refundable with purchase.

2006 Chardonnay, Gravel Ridge Vineyard
Good nose of lime, stone fruit and hint of tequila. Rich and creamy with good acidity, flavours of lemon and lime, and a crisp, dry finish. Often available at retail, particularly at Whole Foods, for $17 or less. Value 89 $22

2005 Cabernet Franc, Francville Vineyard
Bright redcurrant nose, slightly Jammy. Good structure with redcurrant fruit and a dry, tannic, earthy finish 88 $25

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lone Oak Vineyard
Nose shows currents, oak and earth. Rich, balanced and smooth with blackberry and tart cherry flavours. 88 $28

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, George's Vineyard
The original vineyard, planted around 1972; though some replanting has taken place, most of the vines are still original.
Smoky nose with blackcurrant and a hint of mint. Rich and full bodied with good structure; black fruits and loam, and a medium length finish. Good food-friendly wine that's ready to drink or will hold. Recommended 92 $35

2003 RV's Claret
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot
A strongly musty nose belies good fruit; brambles and currants, and loam. Quick, tart finish 87 $32

2005 Captain's Cuvee
50% Cabernet Franc, 50% Syrah
An unusual, possibly unique blend; I've certainly never heard of it before. Very bright fruity nose; cherry pie and cranberry sauce. Fresh fruity flavours with some spice. Good structure, but I doubt cellaring would improve it, it's fine the way it is. Recommended 91 $32


Rebeca said...

Bill Cooper from Cooper Garrod though stepped up and worked with the Wine Institute to put together a list of requirements and set up a training class for local winemakers today from 8am - 1pm. There were 15 of us, Jeffery Patterson from Mount Eden, Bradley Brown from Big Basin, Bill Cooper and Jan Garrod from Cooper Garrod, plus winemakers from Woodside, Bonny Doon and 1/2 dozen other wineries.