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Jerold O'Brien founded his mountain vineyard and winery in 1979 high in the Santa Cruz Mountains with sweeping views of Monterey Bay. His house and winery were destroyed by the Loma Prieta earthquake, but he rebuilt and is quite successful today. He grows Chardonnay on his estate and sources Pinot Noir (Muns Vineyard, Miller Hill Vineyard - both Santa Cruz Mountains, and Tondre's Grapefield in the Santa Lucia Highlands), Zinfandel, and Bordeaux varieties.
His wines are crafted in consultation with Tony Craig, the winemaker for Sonnet. A tasting room is open daily in Monterey on Cannery Row, and at the winery by appointment.
2006 Silver Mountain Vineyards Miller Hill Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., $38. Aged 16 months in 70% tight-grained Hungarian oak, and 30% seasoned French oak. · The scent is a bit funky showing dry cherry, green herbs, brioche and oak. Picking up intensity in the glass, the flavors tend toward sour cherry and cranberry with a hint of citrus on the finish. A light-boned wine that needs food accompaniment. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 Silver Mountain Vineyards Muns Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., $38. Clones 114, 115, 667 and 777. Grapes are hand-picked, de-stemmed, whole berry fermented with cap management using an air-induced process (PulseAir) that is gentle on the fruit. Aged 17 months in 33% new tight-grained Hungarian oak. · Interesting aromatic profile of wild berries, cherries, herbs and oak spice. An earthiness and minerality is evident in the cherry flavors and there is a good dose of citric peel on the finish. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 Silver Mountain Vineyards Tondre Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., $38. · Sensual aromas of strawberries, cherries and spice cabinet which are echoed in the flavors. A middleweight that is quite elegant for a Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir and possesses a round and satiny mouth feel. Plenty of bracing acidity creates a refreshing finish. I would like to romance this one all night. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »
2005 Silver Mountain Vineyards Muns Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $38. Ed Muns and Mary Lindsay farm this challenging site at 2,600 feet characterized by crumbling slate soil from a former sea bottom. · Complex aromatics featuring strawberry, raspberry, fresh hay, rhubarb, iodine and a touch of funk. Soft, light and gentle with a good acidic tang. Nothing really stands out on the palate, and there is a lack of punch, but the wine drinks fine. Reviewed May 7, 2008 ARTICLE »
2004 Silver Mountain Tondre’s Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
Similar to the Sonnet version, but with a lingering cherry and spice kiss at the end. Reviewed April 1, 2007 ARTICLE »