2006 McHenry Estate Bottled Swan Clone Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., 158 cases, $25. Sourced from
the estate vineyard planted to own-rooted cuttings from Swan
Vineyard and Dijon clone 115. The vineyard is situated at 1,800
feet in the Ben Lomond sub-region of the Santa Cruz Mountains
and is one of the closest vineyards to the Pacific Ocean in the
McHenry Pinot Noirs are very distinctive for their delicate
aromas and flavors. Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas
of cherries, strawberries, baking spices and a touch of oak. Moderately light
in weight but delivering plenty of nuanced flavors of cherries, oak spice, crusty
bread and a hint of raisin and earth. Soft in the mouth with gossamer tannins.
Some might fine this style too dilute, but I find it quite charming. Very good and
a great value as well.
2006 David Bruce Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $44.
dark fruits, straw, oak and a whiff of alcohol on the nose. Rich, generous and
slightly sweet flavors of black cherries, plum and blackberries. Very smoothly
textured with mild dry tannins and a brisk grip of acidity. Fine, but not exciting.
2005 Hallcrest Vineyards Barrel Select Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., 233 cases, $42, Diam closure. A blend of grapes from the top five
vineyards sourced by Hallcrest.
Ripe cherry and berry fruits, oak toast and
vanillin on the attractive nose. Discreet but impressive depth and richness of
flavor featuring darker ripe Pinot fruits, nicely spiced, flanked by harmonious
t n ‘a. A well-crafted wine of great charm worthy of the Barrel Select designation.
2005 Hallcrest Vineyards Vista Del Mare Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 167
cases, $42, Diam closure. This 4-acre vineyard is located in Scott’s Valley and looks out on Monterey Bay.
Ripe, slightly roasted fruit on the nose with added scents of black currants, maple syrup, exotic woods, Middle
Eastern spices and a hint of alcohol. Black cherries are at the forefront on the attack with some attractive
accents of spice and oak in the background. Soft in the mouth with fine-grain tannins and a slightly tart finish.