Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery

Owner(s) Jim Schultze, Judy Schultze
Web site www.windyoaksestate.com
 
Link to this site

Sometimes you come upon a winemaker (Ted Lemon comes to mind) and after you spend a little time with him or her, you just know they get it. Jim Schultze is in the same mold. He has a charming calm and trustworthy demeanor and his approach to wine is meticulous and well thought-out. You just get the feeling that his grapes are in good hands. If I was a Pinot Noir grape, I would like Jim to raise me and make me into a fine wine. Jim expresses his philosophy so succinctly: “I do the most I can in the vineyard and the least I can in the winery.”

Jim and Judy Schultze are escapees from the high-tech world who have used their twenty years of interest and experience in artisan winemaking and winegrowing to create Windy Oaks Estate. The Burgundian varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, are produced from a 15-acre vineyard located at 1,000 feet on a ridge overlooking the town of Corralitos and the Monterey Bay beyond. Grapes are also sourced from an adjacent 7 acres and a 4-acre vineyard in Aptos.

Viticulture and winemaking here is very Burgundy-themed. The vineyard is farmed according to sustainable, organic principles with all of the vines hand-tended and directly monitored for water status. The vineyard is mostly above the fog line. Summer is free of heat spikes with temperatures in the 70s and 40s at night. The site is extraordinary and yields physiologically ripe grapes without high brix and high natural acidity. Clones are 115,667, 777, 828, 2A and Pommard. Winemaking is non-interventional with no additives (ie enzymes, acid). Jim employs a 4 to 6 day cold soak and uses a basket press. Fermentations use 50% wild yeast and last 25-30 days. No racking is done once the wine is in barrel. The Schultzes travel yearly to Burgundy to meet with coopers. They use 3-year-old air dried tight grained French oak barrels and age their Pinot Noirs for 18-25 months with a high percentage of new oak (50% up to 75% in the Reserve). The modern estate winery is all gravity-driven. They use a state-of-the-art bottling line with minimal oxygen uptake yielding wines that go through little or no bottling shock.

Windy Oaks Estate sells 85% of their wine directly to a mailing list. There is not a lot of wine to go around. I almost hesitate to rave about it. The Chardonnay is quite good also. A tasting room adjacent the winery opened April 2011 and accepts visitors every Saturday, 12:00 - 5:00. 831-786-9463.

Articles About Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery

2010 California Pinot Noir All-Americans First Team (8.28 12/28/2010)
2011 California Pinot Noir All-Americans Second Team (8.47 12/20/2011)
2012 California Pinot Noir All-Americans First Team (9.17 12/26/2012)
2012 California Pinot Noir All-Americans Honorable Mention (9.17 12/26/2012)
All In: A Tasting of 100% Whole Cluster Pinot Noir (9.27 7/22/2013)
Along the Pinot Trail in California: Part I - Central Coast (9.8 6/24/2012)
Along the Pinot Trail: Pinot Days Southern California 2010 (8.9 1/22/2010)
California Chardonnay Tasting (7.25 9/5/2009)
California Pinot With Plenty of Noir (8.37 5/13/2011)
Cruzin’ the Pinot Trail: Pinot Paradise in the Santa Cruz Mountains (9.23 4/13/2013)
Cruzin’ to Windy Oaks Estate Vineyard & Winery (9.23 4/13/2013)
Drinking Small Part 2 (8.27 12/14/2010)
Magic in the Wines from Corralitos (6.39 9/10/2007)
More Sips of Pinot (9.16 12/10/2012)
On a High at Pinot Paradise Weekend (6.21 4/1/2007)
Pinot Paradise (7.16 4/18/2009)
Pinot Paradise on Horizon (6.55 3/17/2008)
Prince’s Excellent Adventure at WOPN (6.56 3/23/2008)
Recent Sips of Pinot Noir (9.40 4/17/2014)
Report From the Front Lines: 2011 Pinot Paradise (8.35 4/11/2011)
Sips of Recently Tasted California Pinot Noir (9.34 12/17/2013)
Small Sips of Recently Tasted Pinot Noir and a Few Whites (9.29 9/5/2013)
Taste of the Sonoma Coast (7.6 11/17/2008)
Tasting Santa Cruz Pinot Noirz (7.14 3/15/2009)
Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery (8.5 11/13/2009)

Reviewed Wines

2012 Windy Oaks Terra Narro Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $29. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Expressive aromas of black cherry, rose petal, cedar and sandalwood hold up nicely over time in the glass. Moderately light on the palate with pleasing flavors of red cherry and supportive oak. A forward-drinking, friendly wine with juicy acidity. Score: 89. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Windy Oaks Estate Cuvée Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $39. A mix of 5 clones from the estate home vineyard. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Very floral initially, becoming more fruity over time. Intoxicating aromas of spice-infused cherries, roses, herbs, and subtle oak. Delicious essence of fresh cherries with an amalgam of accents including spice, cola, graham and anise. Modest in weight and very polished, with balanced tannins and a lengthy finish filled with cherry goodness. Score: 92. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Windy Oaks Diane’s Block Klein Family Mountain Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $45. Grown on a 5-acre slightly warmer site at a lower elevation than the Schultze Family Vineyard. The vineyard is located in an old apple orchard perched 600 feet above Monterey Bay adjacent Schultze Family Vineyard. · Modest reddish purple color in the glass. Plenty to discover in the nose which offers aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, spice, cola and leather glove. Welcome fullness and roundness to the sweet cherry-driven core of fruit complimented by subtle oak highlights. Impeccable balance and easy accessibility with a pleasingly silken finish. Score: 93. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery Henry’s Block Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

Sourced from estate vineyard’s original plantings, 17th leaf (1996), Wädenswil clone in the Corralitos sub-region. Clay soils with underlain sandstone, that have low nutrients and lead to low vigor. Very cool, rugged terrain with significant maritime influence. 50% native yeast, 25% whole cluster, long fermentation of 39 days, over 17 months in barrel. 104 cases. · Nicely perfumed with aromas of dark cherries, spice and nutty oak. Moderately full and rich featuring bright flavors of fresh black cherries with hints of mocha and hazelnut. Very vivid fruit with an intense, long finish. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Windy Oaks Estate Terra Narro Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 374 cases, $29. Entry-level, value-priced wine composed of most blocks from the estate vineyard. Aged 17 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · A very pleasant wine, aromatic and flavorful, light in body with supple tannins, featuring red cherry and cranberry fruit, a hint of oak, and a citrus-imbued cherry finish. Good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Windy Oaks Estate Terra Narro Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $29. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Complex array of aromas including spicy plum, red raspberry, clove, Asian 5-spice, pepper and a hint of oak. Straight forward and easy to drink, featuring dark red berries and spice backed by a generous tug of oak. Score: 87. Reviewed September 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Windy Oaks Estate One Acre Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

13.9% alc., $39. Barrel fermented for a minimum of 15 months in French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. Reviewed at home. · Golden straw color in the glass. Aromas of lemon, flint, iron, croissant and oak. Creamy on the palate, with refined flavors of fresh citrus fruits, peaches on the grill, vanilla cream, oak and a touch of iron. Very soft in the mouth with nicely integrated acidity. Less fruit-driven than previous vintages, but more refined, sophisticated and mineral-inspired. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Windy Oaks Estate Diane’s Block Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 192 cases, $45. From a 5-acre block, all estate, at a lower elevation. Clones 115 and 667. Aged 17 months in 0% new oak. Always a favorite of women. Unusual in this cool vintage. · Slightly carbonic nose, with aromas of flowers and berries. Fruit-forward, featuring cherry and raspberry with some spice and savory herb notes. Light, with little finishing power. Decent. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Windy Oaks Estate 100% Whole Cluster Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 191 cases, $55. Wine club and tasting room only. Focus on clone 667 with some 115. Aged 17 months in 60% new French oak barrels. Very long fermentation. · Very complex nose offering scents of dark cherries, dried rose petals, baking spices, and herb garden. Highly approachable, with a very savory character offering flavors of mushrooms, smoky herbs and earthy fruits. Very good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release Wild Yeast Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $55 (wine club and tasting room only). Estate grown, produced and bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose draws you in with aromas of dark red cherry pie glaze, baking spices including nutmeg, graham, black oak and dried rose petals. An earthy wine with plentiful dark red cherry and berry flavor and a complimentary oak and leesy accent. Very well crafted with a silky presence and some finishing aplomb. Score: 90. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release Wood Tank Fermented Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $55. Estate grown, produced and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Fermented up to 8 weeks in French oak, one-ton, open fermentation tanks. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is both complex and interesting, offering aromas of cherry, baking spice, mocha, and graham. Crisp on the mid palate with vigorous flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, and toasty oak, finishing with a long and juicy, oak-kissed cherry riff. Easy to like now. Score: 91. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Windy Oaks Estate Wild Yeast Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 123 cases, $55. 100% wild yeast fermented. Aged 18 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Tasting room or wine club members only. · Attention-grabbing nose of spiced cherries and sandalwood. A bit exotic and leesy, with considerable nuance. Very elegant and dreamy on the palate. Exceptional. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 364 cases, $60. From the 1.5-acre Bay Block of the original 3-acre vineyard. Available to wine club members and through the tasting room. Aged 22 months in 55% new French oak barrels. A barrel selection. Primarily Pommard 5 and 115. · Rather shy but appealing nose with scents of cranberries, pomegranates and black cherries. More fruit concentration and the biggest, longest finish in the lineup. I like this wine for its power without weight and excellent integration of oak. Exceptional. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $60 (wine club or tasting room only). The winery’s signature wine, primarily sourced from the 1.5-acre Bay Block of the original 3-acre planting. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Dark red cherries and berries and spice are featured on the precocious nose. Delicious core of mid weight dark red Bing cherry, blueberry and blackberry flavors accented with well-integrated oak-driven notes of vanilla and dark chocolate. More concentration and richness in this bottling, with more spirit, and a grand cru finish of extraordinary length. Score: 93. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release 100% Whole Cluster Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 173 cases. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Enticing aromas of exotically spiced cherries, potpourri and oak vanillin. Delicious core of black cherry fruit embellished with baking spice and complimentary oak. Very seductive and beautifully composed with a dreamy texture and an explosive finish. Outstanding. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Windy Oaks Estate Henry’s Block Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $49. Wine club or tasting room only. From a 1-acre block in the oldest part of the original 3-acre estate vineyard featuring Wädenswil clone. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Fragrant with very ripe black cherry and currant fruit aromas associated with hints of spice, floral notes, and toffee. Very ripe, dark fruited featuring black cherries, black plums, sassafras, and slight prune. Silky with well-proportioned tannins, finishing with impressive length. I am not usually a big fan of Wädenswil as a stand-alone clone Pinot Noir, but in the right site as demonstrated here, can make a different, interesting wine. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release 100% Whole Cluster Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 173 cases, $55. 100% whole cluster protocol is unusual, even in Burgundy. Aged 21 months in 45% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Remarkably effusive aromas of black cherries, vanilla, musk and spice. Delicious essence of fresh black cherry pie with subtle notes of baking spices, cola, and oak. Almost creamy, with moderate fine-grain tannins. Discreetly rich and fully ripe fruit with a striking note of cherry on the finish. The whole cluster fermentation confers a seductive mouth feel and a charming spice note. Very special. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release 100% Whole Cluster Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $55. Available only to Windy Oaks Wine Group members and at the tasting room. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Brooding aromas of deep red cherries, dark berries, spice and oak vanillin. Middleweight flavors of darker red stone fruits and berries with a savory undertone. Soft and elegant with respectable length, showing firm tannins and a hint of stem. A little more open and appealing the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Not as good as the bottle of this wine I reviewed earlier in the year. Good (+). Reviewed December 8, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release Wild Yeast Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $55. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of ripe cherries and berries with appealing spice. Deep, dark red cherry and berry flavors with a note of cola and sarsaparilla. Easy going and silky in the mouth with a dry, noticeably generous finish. Score: 90. Reviewed September 5, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release Wood Tank Fermented Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $55. Fermented up to 8 weeks in 1-ton, open fermentation French oak tanks. · Medium garnet color in the glass. This wine has the type of nose that drives pinotphiles crazy. Effusive aromas of dark red cherries and berries, dark red rose petals and spice. Moderately rich dark red cherry and raspberry fruits accented with caramelized oak and spice. The tannins are a little more aggressive in this wine but they are not obtrusive and will moderate with time. I like this charming wine for its additional complimentary oak contributions including the exotic spice that marries with Pinot fruit so well. Rare to find an oak tank fermented Pinot Noir in California since it is more challenging to successfully vinify. Reviewed December 8, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $60. Wine club or tasting room only. 15-acre vineyard 900 feet above Monterey Bay at the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. Estate grown, produced and bottled. Windy Oaks’ signature wine, primarily from the 1.5- acre Bay Block of the original 3-acre vineyard.Unfined and unfiltered. · Demure but pleasant perfume of dark red fruits, rosewood, rose petals and spice. The core of dark cherries and raspberries is fresh and alive, accented with notes of oak-driven herb, mocha and caramel. Juicy, with bright acidity, ripe tannins, and some length on the finish. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $60. Signature wine primarily from the 1.5-acre Bay Block of the original 3-acre vineyard. Unfined and unfiltered. Available only to Windy Oaks Wine Group members and at the tasting room. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of fresh cherry pie filling, baking spices, compost and sandalwood. Light and elegant, gentle and calming, this wine offers flavors of red cherries, strawberries and spice balanced with ripe tannins and lively acidity. The cherry flavor holds on tight on the long finish. A little lighter in this vintage and needs more time in the cellar for the tannins to recede. Very good. Reviewed December 8, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Windy Oaks Estate One-Acre Chardonnay

13.9% alc., 131 cases, $38 (Sold out). Aged 15 months in 33% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light straw color in the glass. Interesting aromas of apple, brioche, oregano and savory spices with subtle oak. Good richness of flavor offering citrus, Asian pear, vanilla, banana, and oak-derived toffee in the background. An exotic tasting Chardonnay that avoids the mainstream trap and I applaud the wine for its uniqueness. Good. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release Wild Yeast Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 133 cases, $55. Aged 17 months in 65% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Unique aromatic profile featuring scents of cherries, wild marionberries, oak cask, raisin and fresh fig. The flavors echo the nose with cherry notes that are especially vivid. A riper fruit profile wine with appealing restraint and remarkable persistence on the finish. Very good. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Windy Oaks Limited Release Wild Yeast Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $55. Wine club or tasting room only. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Slightly funky, yeasty nose with bright black cherry fruit aromas. Mid weight core of darker red cherries and berries with a crisp, red berry driven finish. Moderately firm grip of tannin with plenty of oak flourish. I have mixed feelings about this one and this may not be a representative bottle. Good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., $60. · Brooding but alluring perfume of black plums, blackberries and black currants. Moderate purple-red color in the glass. Middle weighted but full flavored fruit that really strikes a chord. Offering an array of red and black fruits with faint oak and dark chocolate accents, this sleek and silky wine has a memorable finish with lingering aromatic interest. Best ever Proprietor’s Reserve from Windy Oaks. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Windy Oaks Estate Special Burgundy Clone Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $75. Very limited. From a special half-acre section of the vineyard that is carefully hand-tended exclusively by Jim Schultze. The clone is a rarely propagated French Pinot Noir clone not available in the United States. Aged 27 months in 100% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A very polished and sophisticated offering that reminds me of a Frédéric Mugnier wine from Chambolle-Musigny. Deep cherry and spice aromas and flavors that take on an extraordinary appeal over extended time, seemingly partnering with the glass. Comforting and silky with soft tannins and beautifully integrated oak. Very food friendly (try roast chicken). My wife was impressed and that is saying something. Still great the next day when we finished the bottle. Truly in a class by itself. Reviewed December 8, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 Windy Oaks Estate Cuvée Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 360 cases, $38. A blend of clones from the estate vineyard. Aged 16 months in 55% new French oak. · The nose is full of interest with scents of juicy cherries, spice, graham, herbs, oak and a hint of good funkiness. A whiff of alcohol peaks out. Earth-kissed dark red cherry and berry fruit flavors are on the light side but pleasing. Very polished and smooth with supple tannins creating some charming elegance. Decent (+). Reviewed November 13, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Windy Oaks Estate Cuvée Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 360 cases, $38 (sold out but the 2008 vintage has been released). A blend of all clones from the estate vineyard. Aged 16 months in 55% new French oak. Unfined, unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very attractive perfume of spiced and confected cherries, cherry cola and red berries. The flavors echo the aromas and are offered in a lightly weighted style with soft, silky tannins. A very solid easy drinker. Very good. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Windy Oaks Estate One Acre Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

138 cases, $38. Sampled with lunch at the winery. This proved to be the top Chardonnay tasted during my week in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Barrel aged 18 months in 33% new French oak. · Bright, crisp and fresh with enough white stone and tropical fruit flavor to thoroughly satisfy. Barrel fermentation has contributed complimentary notes of butter, spice and vanillin. A little minerality creeps in on the finish. I have called this wine “a Kistlerkiller” in the past and I am sticking to my claim. Very good. Reviewed November 13, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release 100% Whole Cluster Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $55. Selection of 4 to 6 whole cluster barrels. Aged 21 months in 50% new French oak. · The fruit is darker-toned in this wine and more intense. Scents of plums and berries, oak toast, spice, and a little fecundity lead to a full palate of loamy black cherry and black raspberry fruit with underpinnings of dark chocolate and grilled meat. Perhaps “down and dirty” is a good descriptive. The tannins are fine-grained and dry, the oak is nicely partnered with the fruit, and the wine has the polished sensuality that drives Pinot lovers crazy. Very good. Reviewed November 13, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release Wood Tank Fermented Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 45 cases, $55. Fermented in one-ton, French oak, open fermentation tanks. Aged 21 months in 45% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Shy fruit, with more forward aromas of oak and forest floor. Discreetly concentrated core of dark red cherry and berry flavors with cherry clinging to the fruit-laden finish. Silky textured with impeccable balance. Very good. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Windy Oaks Limited Release Wild Yeast Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 133 cases, $55. A five barrel selection. Aged 17 months in 65% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very reserved scent of black cherries and dark red berries with a hint of mint. Pretty tasty black cherry and berry fruit, nicely spiced and earthy, clothed in ripe firm tannins, and harmoniously composed. A solid drink, but doesn’t excite. Good. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Windy Oaks Limited Release Wood Tank Fermented Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $55. Fermented in one-ton French oak open fermentation tanks. Aged 21 months in 75% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light garnet in color in the glass. A striking aromatic profile of cherries, berry pie, sandalwood, spice and a touch of caramel. Charmingly delicate but pleasingly flavored core of redder cherries and berries. Sleek and refined with mild tannins and no oak intrusion, this is a lullaby. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Windy Oaks Proprietor’s Reserve Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 384 cases, $60. Primarily sourced from the 1.5-acre Bay Block, part of the original 3-acre vineyard. Aged 23 months in 75% new French oak barrels. · Interesting disconnect between the reserved earthy nose and the flavorful fruit core. Shy scents of damp earth, decay, mushroom and oak. Intense flavors of dark red stone fruits and berries with hints of lovely spice, cherry cola and oak. Picks up power and interest over time in the glass offering a persistent tug of tasty strawberry fruit on the finish. Similar to the Estate Cuvée in taste, but ramped up another notch. Very Good Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 Windy Oaks Estate Cuvée Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 435 cases, $38. 15 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · A softer nose highlighting red fruits, light toast spice and a touch of funk. The red-toned fruit flavors are brisk and refreshing, even a little steely. Very smooth in texture with no obtrusive oak or tannins. Surprisingly good with a pastrami sandwich. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Windy Oaks Estate One Acre Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

13.9% alc., $38. Barrel fermented, aged a minimum of 15 months. Unfined and unfiltered. · Golden yellow, slightly hazy color. Alluring aromas of butter, grapefruit and beeswax. Penetrating flavors of white stone fruits with an echo of oak. The viscous mouth feel is very appealing and the aromatic finish is fruity and lengthy. Reviewed September 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Windy Oaks Estate Henry’s Block Santa Cruz Mountains PInot Noir

13.9% alc., 145 cases, $45. Named after Judy Schultze’s father, this is 100% Wädenswil clone and from one of the oldest blocks in the vineyard. Aged 21 months in 65% new French oak. · A beautifully composed and balanced Pinot Noir featuring juicy raspberries, herbs, cedar and barnyard on the nose. The flavors follow in step adding a hint of dirt and root beer. Feminine in spirit but packed with flavor, and like all Windy Oaks wines, impeccably balanced. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Windy Oaks Estate Wood Tank Fermented Limited Release Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 47 cases, $55. Aged 21 months in 75% new French oak. · Heavenly and complex nose with a classroom full of black cherry fruit, cola, and cardamon spice. Very flavorful darker red fruits with an underlying earthiness and a citric note on the finish. Not the intensity or punch of the Proprietor’s Reserve, but a perfectly fine drink. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 345 cases, $60. Primarily sourced from the 1.5 acre Bay Block planting of the original 3-acre vineyard. Aged 22 months in 80% new French oak. The signature Windy Oaks Estate wine. · This wine starts out shy and ends in ecstasy. Plenty of patience (foreplay) is required. The nose unfolds to reveal well spiced cherries, sage, vanillin and a touch of flowers. The fruit is demure but surrounds the tongue with fullness. Tangy and spicy with spot on balance. Always the best wine in the Windy Oaks cellar. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 345 cases, $60. Primarily sourced from the original 3-acre block of the vineyard. Aged 22 months in 80% new French oak. · The nose is quite refined with attractive cherry and berry aromas with a touch of oak, green herbs and barnyard. On the palate the wine is strikingly soft and smooth, refined and seamless, with discreetly concentrated fruit encased in caressing tannins. Flavors of currants, baking spice and savory herbs add interest. Very good. Reviewed November 13, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Windy Oaks Proprietor’s Reserve Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 345 cases, $60. Primarily sourced from a 1.5-acre block planted as part of the original 3-acre vineyard. Aged 22 months in 80% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Bright and intensely perfumed berry and cherry fruit on the nose. Mouth filling core of ripe berry fruit with notes of dried cherry, cassis and spice. A refreshing acid tang frames the aromatic finish. Very Good. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

Barrel sample. · WOW! Stunning aromatics of red and blue fruits. Plenty of spiced fruit on a soft and clean platform. Seamless. This one will bring you to your knees. Reviewed September 10, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Estate Reserve Corralitos Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

Very sexy aromatics of strawberries and wild raspberries all dolled up with oak spice. Light on the palate, yet providing plenty of fruit pleasure and ending with refreshing acidity. Reviewed March 23, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Estate Wood Fermented Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

Barrel sample. · More pepper in the nose and spicier on the finish. Soft and smooth as a baby’s bottom. Very unique and great in its own way. Reviewed September 10, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Estate Cuvée Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 285 cases, $35. The cuvée is a blend of clones from the estate vineyard, meant to be a wine that can be drunk every day with almost anything. Think of it as the younger sister of the Proprietor’s Reserve. · Oak char and smoke dominate the fruit aromas and a bit of heat peaks out over time in the glass. Slightly tart red and black berry fruit flavors are linear with barely noticeable tannins and lively acidity. Fairly plush and mouth filling but not exciting. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Estate Cuvee Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 285 cases, $35. A blend of 4 clones, aged 18 months in 50% new French oak. · A dusty cherry nose leads off the show. Raspberry, strawberry, and pomegranate flavors star and a hint of gingerbread and herbs add interest. Oak adds appeal and support. Beautiful balance. Reviewed September 10, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Estate Cuvee Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 285 cases, $35. · A beautifully balanced Pinot with an attractive dusty cherry nose backed by a little barnyard and complimentary flavors of black cherries, pomegranate, spices, gingerbread and herbs. Oak adds interest and support. Everything is in proportion from oak tannin to acid to fruit intensity. Reviewed March 17, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Estate Diane’s Block Klein Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

153 cases, $40. The Diane’s Block is the second vintage from this 4-acre vineyard in Aptos. · It has its own charm and distinctive character with racy mixed berry and black cherry fruit, a soft texture, ample acidity, and supple tannins. There is a lot of magic in the air in Corralitos. Reviewed April 1, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release Wood Tank Fermented Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 26 cases, $44. Aged 22 months in 100% new French oak. · Intensity is the key word here. Flamboyant black raspberry fruit aromas fill the glass. Juicy black berry jam flavors have subtle oak, chocolate, and marzipan overtones. Power to spare in the mouth ending in a lovely raspberry-infused aromatic kiss on the back end. There is notable oak present and a touch of heat peaks out but is not intrusive. Reviewed March 17, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Estate Wood Tank Fermented Limited Release Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 26 cases, $44. · The nose is loaded with red fruits and exotic Indian spices. A middleweight wine with charming flavors of red cherries and strawberries with a touch of oak and brioche added in for interest. The wine builds in intensity and interest with time in the glass, leaving a memorable aromatic impression on the endless finish. Plenty of swag here. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $55. · Shy nose that opens beautifully with time in the glass revealing black cherries and oak with a minerality in the background. A little darker fruit profile and noticeably fuller than the 2004 vintage, tasting of jam on toast with just the slightest hint of spice. Smooth as a baby’s bottom, perfectly balanced, with a lasting impression on the long finish that leaves a touch of heat in its wake. This one is more California, the 2004 vintage is more DRC. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Proprietor’s Reserve Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $60. Unfined and unfiltered. · Intense aromas of deep, dark fruit with whiffs of savory herbs, cut flowers and oak. Tasty core of cherry and berry melange that is on the verge of fading, taking on some secondary characters of brown spice, mocha and raisin. Riper and lighter in weight than the 06 and 07 bottlings but with a similar prominent acid underpinning. Drink up soon. Good. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Estate Limited Release Burgundian Clones Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 40 cases, $95. This special half-acre block is tended exclusively by Jim. The clone, a rarely propagated French Pinot Noir clone, is not available in the United States. Aged 27 months in 100% new French oak. I have drank both the 2004 and 2005 versions of this wine and found both to be stunning. I do not have specific tasting notes since I enjoyed the wines with special friends at dinners. I do have fond memories of both wines, however, and can only say they rival the best Burgundies I have ever drank. As good as the other Windy Oaks Pinot Noirs are, this bottling is a step above, a tour de force. · Reviewed November 13, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Windy Oaks Special Burgundy Clone Schultze Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $95. Unfined and unfiltered. · Shapely bottle with long cork and attractive embossed label. Moderate burnished red rose color in the glass. Fresh aromas of mixed berries, chocolate truffle, spice, flower garden and a hint of oak. Delicious strawberry and black cherry core nicely spiced with a subtle kick of acidity on the amazing finish that seems to persist for a minute. The layers of flavor seem to defy proper description. Very soft and plush on the palate. A very unique wine that is in a class of its own. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2004 Windy Oaks Estate One Acre Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

94 cases, $30. · A stunner. This is a Kistler-killer for half the price! Perfect balance with butter, caramel, and exotic fruit notes, and demure acidity. Reviewed April 1, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Windy Oaks Estate Diane’s Block Klein Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

153 cases, 2004 and 2005 sold out. This is the second vintage from this 4-acre vineyard in Aptos. · It has its own charm and distinctive character with racy mixed berry and black cherry fruit, a soft texture, ample acidity, and supple tannins. Reviewed September 10, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

175 cases, $45, sold out. The Reserve is the winery’s signature wine. · This one will stand up to any wine produced in California and is everything you could hope for in a Pinot Noir. From classic Pinot aromatics of Bing cherry and spice, through elegant, sweet and vivid fruit with a caressing texture, to a lasting finale, this is one impressive drink. You won’t be able to get enough of this one. Reviewed September 10, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

175 cases, $45. · The Reserve is the winery’s signature wine. This one will stand up to anything produced in California and is everything you could hope for in a Pinot Noir. From classic Pinot aromatics of Bing cherry and spice, through elegant, sweet and vivid fruit with a caressing texture, to a lasting finale, this is one impressive drink. You won’t be able to get enough of this one. Reviewed April 1, 2007 ARTICLE »

2004 Windy Oaks Estate Proprietor’s Reserve Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 175 cases, $45. · This is a “Wow” wine. Wonderful scents of spiced cherries, sandalwood, caramel and grass. The flavor trio of cherries, mocha and cinnamon spice are delicious. The whole package is impeccably balanced and elegant with an endless finish. A pretty and diaphanous wine that is tres Pinot. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »