The Santa Cruz Mountains are always a draw for me when I'm tasting through samples, and while there's lots of good expressions of different grapes, the Chardonnays and Pinots always stand out to me, and for good reason: that good ol' cool-climate, Pacific Coast influence.
Today's offer comes to us from an established winery in the region. They were loose on the contract, allowing me to divulge the two single-vineyard sources that went into this Pinot to anchor the fruit's provenance (and no, it's not from either of the source vineyards' wineries).
Lot 421 is 65% 828 clone Pinot from Coast Grade Vineyard, just 3 miles from the ocean and about 1300 ft. in elevation, blended with 35% Regan Vineyard, aged for 11 months in 100% French oak (20% new barrels), and is effusive as all get out; it's a love letter to the soils, fog, and ridges the juice comes from. Both vineyards are slow to ripen, allowing for excellent fruit expressions.
Regan Vineyard bottlings start at $30-35/bottle in the open market, and Coast Grade bottlings bat around $65/bottle, so I believe this is an incredible deal at $23/bottle.
On the nose raspberry coulis, potpourri, and incense mingle with fresh turned leaves over a forest floor undertone kissed by cinnamon - classic Santa Cruz Mountains fruit here. The palate is terroir-driven and bright with uplifted cherries and potting soils framed by cranberry-like acidity and infinitely small, velvety tannins. Great length on exit, there's an umami-driven vanilla and spice tone to the finish that's incredibly welcome. Pork fans? Break out the bacon.