Monday, June 26, 2017

Vidovich Vineyards

2012 Lake Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
While driving up to Ridge this past weekend I was surprised to see signs indicating that Vidovich Vineyards was open for tasting. I first discovered Vidovich and their Monte Bello Road Cabernet Sauvignon around 10 years ago. It was on the wine list at Habana Cuba, a great Cuban restaurant in San Jose (try the ox tail, it's superb). It was a rather heavily oaked wine; lots of coffee and chocolate, quite tannic but with a good fruit core. The 2001 vintage was unremarkable; rustic with chewy tannins and not much fruit, but the 2002 certainly showed a lot of promise. I managed to obtain a few cases and for a while it was my standard midweek drinker.

In 2008 I was at a trade tasting where it was being poured and finally got some background on the winery. The vines were still very young, having been planted in the late 1990s, and 2001 was the first proper harvest. Initial vintages were made by Fetzer; the winery was completed in 2004 and local wine consultant Nancy Freire, whose resume includes Kirigin, Fortino and Morgan Hill Cellars, was hired as winemaker. The winery had been in a state of flux following the death of its founder, but the family had plans to continue, had apparently secured a distributor and were confident about the future.

Ideen and Pat run the tasting room
After that, I would occasionally see wines from Picchetti or Jason-Stephens made with the fruit, but I didn't see Vidovich on sale anywhere. So I was very interested to find out what was happening at the winery.

Vidovich Vineyards is right at the top of Monte Bello Road, a mile beyond Ridge. It's an impressive property with a panoramic view across Silicon Valley. But if the 20 minute drive to the summit doesn't discourage the casual visitor then the $25 tasting fee (not refunded with purchase) might. The newly opened tasting room is currently pouring 3 wines, all Cabernet Sauvignons; two vintages of the Monte Bello Road and one of Lake Vineyard. The latter is sourced from a second property in Los Altos Hills.

2012 Lake Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, $55

Rich and tannic, with notes of blackcurrant and coffee. Quite intense; it really needs around 3-5 years to soften, but has good potential

2008 Monte Bello Road Cabernet Sauvignon $90

Very tannic indeed, with not much fruit evident. Seems rather flat and one-dimensional. One can only hope that it will improve with time.

2007 Monte Bello Road Cabernet Sauvignon $110

A beautiful nose, with lots of blackberry and coffee. Unlike the 2008 the fruit is lush and sweet, lots of bramble and currant, and the tannins are smooth and silky. It's really quite delicious. 

Panoramic view of Silicon Valley
The winery also produce small quantities of Zinfandel from fruit grown on the Monte Bello property, though I've never seen it on sale anywhere; it's mostly kept for friends and family. 

While I'm pleased to see that Vidovich is still around and wish them every success I'm somewhat confused and disappointed by the excessive tasting fee as well as the 4X price increase over the 2006 vintage.

Vidovich Vineyards
18101 Monte Bello Road, Cupertino CA 95014
Open: Sundays only, 11AM to 5PM