As you've no doubt noticed, the blog has had to take something of a holiday over the past few months due to family and work pressures. But that doesn't mean I haven't been drinking some great local wines. Here's a roundup of some highlights over the past few weeks in no particular order.
2006 McHenry "Swan Clones" Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains
A little known gem from the Bonny Doon area. I believe that technically the vineyards lie within the Ben Lomond Mountain sub-AVA, though it carries the SCM appellation. Interesting nose, with lots of forest floor and earthy funk. On the palate there's great cherry flavours and some savoury "umami" notes, and a medium length finish. Only about 150 cases made, but terrific value at around $26. 91+
2009 Martin Ranch "JD Hurley" Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Clara Valley
My tastes in Sauvignon Blanc typically run to the more acidic New Zealand and Sancerre styles, but this was really good on a hot autumn night. Nose shows apricot and lime; on the palate it's soft and creamy with light acidity and citrus flavours, and some caramel on the finish. Apparently it contains some Semillon. 88
2007 Sarah's Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir, Santa Clara Valley
Nose is earthy and smoky, with dried herb and dried cranberry notes. Great flavours of cranberry and cherry. 90
2006 Fernwood Cellars "Small Vineyard Selection" Merlot
The fruit for this wine is sourced from a number of private vineyards in Los Altos, Saratoga & Monte Sereno. On the nose it's rather old world; lots of earthiness and underbrush, with some black fruit. But in the mouth it's got plenty of new world sweet fruit. 89
2007 Aver Family Vineyards "Hope"
A Rhone blend, with around 1/3 Petite Sirah (which technically isn't a Rhone grape, but the Rhone Rangers have claimed it as one of theirs). Good nose of blueberry, cranberry, dried herbs and pine. Flavours of blueberry, gooseberry and white pepper. Tannins are marked but not excessive. Benefited from an hour in a decanter. 90+