The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA has a history of producing long-lived, some may say Burgundian-styled, pinot noir over the past few decades. The Santa Cruz Mountains enjoys a proximity to the ocean and the benefits of its coastal climate: warm days, cool nights, coastal fog in the morning, and soft breezes by afternoon to dry the vines without stressing them – all so important to growing premium Pinot Noir. The tradition of world-class pinot noir coming out of the SCM continues today, with some of my favorite producers such as Rhys, Windy Oaks, and McHenry.
2005 McHenry Pinot Noir
Santa Cruz Mountains
McHenry Vineyards is a small family operation that produces tiny quantities of top-notch Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz mountains. There were only 150 cases of this 2005. For those looking for value, McHenry is the real deal as these wines are less than $30 from the winery and often can be found at retailers for around $25. But, there's not a lot, so you have to poke around to find some.
The 2005 shows a smoky, dark cherry nose. The palate is full of pomegranate and cranberry fruit with earthy, soft clean flavors. Slight bit of heat the permeates the backside, but otherwise quite fine again. Acid spine that dances on the palate with precision and poise. Another woot! for Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot! One bottle left I'll hate to part with one day...