Sunday, May 3, 2009

Windy Oaks

Windy Oaks was founded by Jim and Judy Schultze in 1996; they began planting Pinot Noir on their 14 acre property, later adding some Chardonnay. The wines have established a strong following, with the flagship "Proprieter's Reserve" bottling being restricted to wine club members only. The winery produces around 2,000 cases annually. Until recently the winery was only open on events such as passport weekends; however this summer they are opening on Friday and Saturday from 1-4PM (except 4th July).

2007 "One Acre Block" Chardonnay
Nose of creamy lemon and vanilla. Crisp lemon flavours with fresh baked bread and a chalky, mineral finish. Good acidity. Currently seems more austere than the plush 2006, but this is newly released and was only bottled 3 weeks ago. $38

2006 "Diane's Block" Pinot Noir (Klein Family Mountain Vineyard)
The fruit is sourced from a 4 acre vineyard in nearby Aptos; it's the only wine that isn't made with fruit from the Corralitos estate vineyard, though the wine qualifies as an "estate" wine.
It has a huge nose; pot-pourri, spice and rose petals just jump out of the glass. On the palate it's like liquid cherry pie; rich ripe cherry fruit backed with toasty, pastry notes. Soft tannins and nice acidity; this wine just begs to be drunk now. $45

2007 "Terra Narro" Pinot Noir
In 2007 the winery stopped selling fruit (previous purchases had included Testarossa and Martin Alfaro) and instead decided to introduce an entry level label. This wine sees only 40% new French oak and is aged for 16 months.
A faint, floral nose and fresh cherry flavours with a savoury background and good, fresh acidity. Not showing a great deal in comparison to the flamboyant Diane's Block; will give it some cellar time and try it again in a few months. $29 - 290 cases

2007 "Estate Cuvee" Pinot Noir
The nose is similar to the Terra Narro, but is much more pronounced and spicy. It has
sweet, cherry fruit flavours and a meaty, savoury component with a good, rich finish. A step up from the Terra Narro. $38 - 360 cases

2007 "Wood Tank" Pinot Noir
This is fermented in a 1 ton French oak tank, holding 150 gallons or about 2.5 barrels. It's a rich, concentrated wine with dark, earthy cherry flavours and a long finish; the progression from Terra Narro via Cuvee is clear. $55


colleen said...

Very nice post! I fell in love with Windy Oaks' pinots a couple of years ago ... must buy more soon! :)

The Domestic Diva said...

I'm a big Windy Oaks fan! So is my boyfriend. We have them stocked in our cellars. Love both the Chardonnay and the Pinot!

The Diva

Meg Houston Maker said...

We're Windy Oaks wine club members. All their wines and cuvees are wonderful. We just received a couple bottles of that one-acre Chard. Can't wait to try it based on your review!