SFChron: EstherMobley on SantaCruzMtn Pinots

Quite a nicely done article by EstherMobley on SantaCruzMtn PinotNoir:
SFChron:SCM Pinot
Covers a lot of the familiar faces in the area. A bit disappointing that it doesn’t highlight DavidBruce’s great contributions. But those are quibbles.

Being a big JonBonne fan (I know…one of the very few), I was a bit skeptical of the appointment of a WineSphincter writer as the SFChron wine editor. But the more I read Esther’s writings…the more impressed I am that she has stepped up to the place and not struck out.

Jon Bonne thought of himself as a critic. That’s part of the reason he sometimes annoyed people, including producers who want someone more promotional. Esther is writing different a different type of article.


It’s nice to see the SCM, over the last handful of years, getting the attention they deserve. I’m partial, because its where I came up, but I’ve always thought of the mountains of having the highest ceiling on the West Coast for Pinot and Cab Sauv, which is to say, in good years they’re the best anywhere. Bad years in the SCM can be downright terrible. It’s a very challenging place to make wine.

Congrats to Fogarty and Nathan Kandler for their continued success. If anyone has yet to try the Lexington wines for Gist Ranch, you should. And to Ryan Beauregard, Jeff Emery, Bradley Brown and John Benedetti. If you haven’t sought out he Sante Arcangeli wines yet, you should. The Split Rail Vineyard has as high of potential as any in the region (also a David Bruce planting).

One part that I found especially interesting was that she chose to highlight the Coast Grade Vineyard for Big Basin. If anyone trusts Galloni’s ratings, he has all of Bradley’s other Pinots, including all those from Monterey County, rated significantly higher.


2012 Harrington Coast Grade PN opened last week was excellent.

Nice to see the recognition indeed. I got to chat with the assistant winemaker from Big Basin and taste a couple of their wines recently, was very impressed, and saw some definite similarities with the nearby Split Rail vineyard pinot from Sante Arcangeli. These are on the joyful side of pinot, though with plenty of “finesse” as Mobley puts it. I get the impression they’re not trying to be quite as austere or “serious” as Rhys.

It was odd that the article appeared in the Visit Santa Cruz section, and not in the Food section, which featured an article about Kosher wines.

I was listening to some political talking heads discuss how the Clintons used to be the musical equivalent of Radiohead or Public Enemy and now they are Golden Oldies. I guess this happens to wine as well.
24 year old wine writers think of Kistler or Wms Selyem as something their grandparents drink to chase the Ensure.

Of course, I love it when newspaper writers feature wineries like Rhys, impossible for most people to visit and only available through a mailing list. Isn’t that Robert Parker’sob??

Wonder why, virtually,no mention of Mt Eden Vineyards?

I never heard of her until this thread. I disagree with several of her opinions and her tasting notes. Ken Burnap as acid driven as Jeff Emery? Horseshoe reticent and linear compared to Alpine?