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Finesse is Spoken at McHenry

McHenry Vineyard is a small family-owned producer of Pinot Noir from a single vineyard in the Bonny Doon area of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The original vineyard was planted by Dean, Jane, Henry and Linda McHenry in 1972. Pinot Noirs from this vineyard won numerous medals in state wine competitions. Unfortunately the vineyard was devastated by Pierce’s Disease and ceased production in 1992. In 1997, it was replanted. Located on a sandy mountain slope at 1,800 feet elevation, it is 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean.

I was quite taken by the 2003 McHenry Estate Pinot Noir when I tasted it at Pinot Paradise this year. The McHenry wines are made in a very delicate and elegant style of great charm and subtlety. Aging is done in Francois Frères barrels for two years before release.

2004 McHenry Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 320 cases, $21. · Very light Burgundy in color. Cherries, spice and barnyard dominate the aromas. Very elegant red fruits, especially raspberry, are enhanced by Asian spices. A healthy acid spine leads to a tangy finish. This is a restrained wine with plenty of finesse and will not appeal to fans of California "Franken Pinots." A perfect partner for lighter foods such as roast chicken or turkey cutlet.

McHenry Vineyard wines can be ordered by phoning Linda McHenry at 530-756-3202 or e-mailing her at The limited website is Nothing flashy here, just fine artisan Pinot Noir at a sensible price.

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