Friday, August 7, 2009

2004 "La Fenice" Cabernet Sauvignon, California

Morgan Hill Cellars was founded in 1913, with 80 acres of vines. The property was purchased by John and Eda Pedrizzetti in 1945 and with the help of of Mike Bo of the San Martin Winery, Pedrizzetti Winery began to grow. When John and Eda retired their son Ed and his new wife Phyllis took over and in 1968 they opened a tasting room off Burnett Avenue. A particularly heavy frost in the winter of 1979 damaged the vineyards so badly that the winery decided to stop farming, sell off the vineyards and purchase grapes from other growers.

At its peak the winery produced 50,000 cases. However a catastrophic fire in 1996 put an end to that. The family rebuilt the winery at a cost in excess of $2 million and focused primarily on weddings and other events. Wine production was slashed to around 2,000 cases, much of which is fruit wines. The La Fenice range of wines represents the "phoenix that rose from the ashes". In 2006 the family sold the winery and retired. The new owner is re-branding the winery as Morgan Hill Cellars.

The 2004 La Fenice Cabernet Sauvignon was made by the previous owners. It opens with a nose of barnyard (brett?) and green pepper. On the palate it's thin, green and sour, with very little fruit evident. I had one glass; the sink drank the rest. Whatever the new proprietors do going forward it has to be an improvement on this. No score.