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A producer of small lots of single-vineyard Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and other varieties from select Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards and the Chalone appellation. Formerly Hillcrest Terrace Winery.
Joe Miller has taught university courses on enology and wine appreciation for over 30 years and has been making wine since the 1970s. He has been a tenured Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz.
Pinot Noir offerings are sourced from Brosseau Vineyard (Chalone) and small vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Visitors are welcome at the winery located on the west side of Santa Cruz at 429 Ingalls St., Friday through Sunday and by appointment. Joe's son, Sam, is the associate winemaker.
2013 Rexford Antle Vineyard Chalone Pinot Blanc
13.7% alc., 119 cases, $28, screwcap. Rocky soils laden with limestone. This 25-acre vineyard was planted in 1989 by legendary winegrower Dick Graff and is farmed organically today. It is one of the few places in California where authentic Pinot Blanc is grown. Harvest Brix 22.5º. Crushed and destemmed, then pressed immediately. Barrel fermented on the lees in 100% French oak barrels, 20% new. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of pear, peach, pineapple and honey. Soft and smooth in the mouth, with impressive intensity of flavor, including tastes of lemon, peach, yellow apple and cake spice. A thoroughly enjoyable wine, with impeccable balance, and unusual expression for Pinot Blanc. This wine brings back memories of the Pinot Blancs I treasured from Chalone many years ago. I don’t think there is an equal to this special varietal bottling currently produced in California. Score: 93. Reviewed July 13, 2015 ARTICLE »
2012 Rexford Fambrini Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
13.9% alc.,123 cases, $42, screwcap. A monopole for Rexford. Limestone-laden soil. Clones 667 and 777. Harvest Brix 22.5º. 100% de-stemmed, aged in 100% French oak barrels, 50% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Aromas of red cherry, red berry, sandalwood and spice remind of some whole cluster. Mid weight flavors of red fruits with plentiful oak in the background. Rather simple, but crisp and lively on the finish, with a burst of tart plum flavor. Score: 88. Reviewed July 12, 2015 ARTICLE »
2011 Rexford Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 210 cases, $25, screwcap. Joe and Sam Miller are father and son winemakers with winery located in Santa Cruz. Sourced from three vineyards: Trout Gulch, Severia and Muns. Average harvest Brix 23.75º. 100% de-stemmed, aged in 100% French oak barrels, 0% new. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This wine is very ripe fruited with aromas of black cherry, blackberry, cola and oak spice. Velvety on the palate with a luscious core of black plum, crème de cassis, and blackberry flavors overlain with a charred oak imprint. Inviting intensity, with balanced tannins, and a juicy finish that leaves a sense of warmth behind. Score: 87. Reviewed July 12, 2015 ARTICLE »
2010 Rexford Brousseau Vineyard Chalone Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., 161 cases, $N/A, screwcap. Organically farmed vines in limestone soil east of Soledad. Clones are 538, Pommard and Mt. Eden. Harvest Brix 24.5º. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 18 months in 1-to-3-year-old French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of macerated black plum, briar and plentiful oak. Weighty tannins are paired with a full-bodied core of darker berry fruits. Oak is better integrated on the palate which is very smooth and seductive. The tannins arrive with a rush on the astringent finish that can be typical of this vineyard. Score: 88. Reviewed July 12, 2015 ARTICLE »