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2014 Varner "Hidden Block - Spring Ridge Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir (Previously $45) (Previously $45)
Top Pick!
93 points Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Hidden Block is the most immediate and dense of the four Pinots in the Varner range. A core of sweet red cherry and plum fruit fills out the wine's mid-weight frame effortlessly. Round, pliant and totally seductive, the 2014 has a lot to offer, including tons of near and medium-term appeal. (AG)" (08/2018) 92 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Mostly destemmed and brought up in 25% new French oak, the medium ruby-colored 2014 Pinot Noir Hidden Block Spring Ridge Vineyard reveals a medium ruby color as well as impressive red and...

2016 Rhys "Family Farm Vineyard" San Mateo County Pinot Noir
Top Pick!
94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Moving south toward the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 2016 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard offers a more elegant, medium-bodied, supple style as well as perfumed red fruit, dried flowers, and spice, with just a hint of minerality. This site has slightly more clay in the soils and the wine is always one of the more rounded and charming in the lineup. Nevertheless, I’ve no doubt it’s going to drink nicely for a decade." (02/2019) 94 points Vinous: "The 2016 Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard is beautifully lifted and precise. Bright red ...

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate comes from the Santa Cruz Mountain estate, and it follows its big brother Monte Bello's style with a terrific sense of elegance paired with richness. Lots of crème de cassis, crushed violets, vanilla, tobacco leaf, and cedar notes flow to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, layered Cabernet Sauvignon that has terrific purity, building tannins, and a great finish. It offers pleasure today yet won't hit prime time for another 5-7 years, and it's going to evolve for 15-20 years (proba...

91 points Vinous: "Extremely pale pink. Incisive red berry and citrus pith qualities on the nose, along with suave floral, spice and mineral flourishes. Lithe and sharply focused on the palate, offering tangy strawberry, red currant and orange zest flavors and a touch of honeysuckle. Finishes dry and taut, with resonating florality and persistent red berry and mineral notes. This wine's blend of depth and finesse is pretty impressive, especially in light of its price. (JR)" (08/2019) K&L Notes: Bonny Doon Vineyard is a wine producer located in Santa Cr...

94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A step up over the Anderson Valley release, the 2016 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains Alesia gets fruit from five of the six single vineyards (no Skyline fruit) and it offers a sensational bouquet of ripe cherries, currants, rose petals, conifer trees, and sappy flowers. Complex, medium-bodied, elegant, and seamless, it’s a beautiful, beautiful wine that unquestionably plays in the same league as the single vineyards." (02/2019) 91 points John Gilman: "The 2016 Santa Cruz Mountains bottling under the Alesia label is also nicely c...

94 points Wine Enthusiast: "There is a sharply mineral focus to the nose of this bottling, which shows aromas of wet gravel alongside lemon peel, lemon blossoms and a touch of ripe nectarine. It's very grippy on the palate, where chalky texture and flavors unveil lemon pith, river water and kumquat flavors. (MK)" (07/2019)

2015 Mount Eden "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay
Top Pick!
95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2015 Chardonnay Estate comes all from the estate vineyard and mostly from a block of vines planted in 1990. Aged in 50% new oak, it’s another brilliant Chardonnay from Jeffrey Patterson that has a rich, concentrated, classic style as well as ample honeyed minerality, orchard fruits, and hints of brioche and toasted spice. Pure, medium to full-bodied and impeccably balanced, you can enjoy bottles today or cellar for 10-15 years, if you’re so inclined." (02/2019) 93 points John Gilman: "The 2015 Chardonnay from Mount Eden Vine...

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This bottling from a coastal vineyard planted in 2008 is fresh and bursting on the nose with raspberry, dark red-currant, roasted oak and sagebrush aromas. There's a wide herbal array to the palate, from marjoram to bay leaf, set against a raspberry, pomegranate and hibiscus backdrop. *Cellar Selection* (MK)" (07/2019)

92 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beauregard Ranch is all Cabernet Sauvignon that was brought up in 20% new barrels. Its medium ruby/purple color is followed by a beautiful bouquet of blackcurrants, vanilla bean, graphite, tobacco leaf, and bay leaf. It's medium to full-bodied, has a layered, seamless profile, good acidity, and a classic, balanced, age-worthy style. This will be loved by old-school Cabernet lovers and is a beautiful wine that's going to keep for 2-3 decades. " (02/2019) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Vivacious aromas of ...

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A lively, fresh, floral, peppery and berry-fruited effort, the 2014 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains (one-third whole cluster) from the team at Fogarty is medium-bodied, elegant and impeccably put together. It opens up nicely with time in the glass, has nicely integrated acidity and clean, classy feel that will drink nicely for 4-5 years. (JD)" (10/2016) Connoisseurs Guide: "Fairly outgoing and smelling of red cherries and strawberries with accents of sweet baking spice and a slight savory touch of herbs off to ...

Winemaker's Notes: "The grapes were hand harvested at 22.8° Brix. During the fermentation 25% whole clusters were used and the rest was de-stemmed. Indigenous yeasts and bacteria carried out both primary and secondary fermentations. The wine was aged in 25% New French oak for 18 months. Note that relatively speaking 18 months in barrel is a long ageing time for pinot noir. Regan vineyard is in the cooler area of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA which lends to a pinot noir with high acidity, extended barrel ageing is needed to calm the wine down and get it ...
Price: $29.95

91 points Vinous: "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is soft, pliant and fruity, with lovely aromatic nuances that add an attractive upper register to the red cherry and plum fruit. Sweet floral overtones develop with a bit of time in the glass. The 2016 offers tons of fleshiness in the understated, gracious style of the year here. Best of all, it will drink well upon release. Domaine Eden is a terrific source for highly nuanced wines that convey plenty of Santa Cruz Mountains character at mid-tier prices, all in the same super-classic style found at sister pr...

93 points Wine & Spirits: "Jon Locke and Alex Krause pull this wine from a 90-year-old own-rooted vineyard just outside the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. It’s a pleasure to taste over the course of a few days, starting out tart and crunchy, then filling out as dramatically as a spinnaker sail as it takes on air. Taut and generous at once, it’s refreshing and delicious." (06/2019) K&L Notes: Alex Krause and John Locke founded Birichino with a singular purpose - to make expressive wines of character from some of California's premier plots of cool-climate anc...


97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2001 Monte Bello is a very atypical vintage for Ridge, attaining a record high alcohol of 14.1% and containing an unprecedented 36% Merlot. Monte Bello winemaker Eric Baugher remembers that the grapes retained green, unripe flavors while sugars soared, so he was forced to wait to pick. It's hard not to be seduced by the resulting wine, which wafts from the glass with lavish aromas of ripe plums, black truffles, dark chocolate, cigar ash and loamy soil. It's full-bodied, ample and dramatic, with a broad, expan...

From the producer: "A cuvee of our highest end Cabernet vineyards and barrels. Each lot is destemmed, 100% whole berry and hand sorted. Isolated ferments are cold soaked for 5 days, inoculated in open top fermenters with commercial strains, and kept on skins up to 25 days via extended maceration. Aged in a combination of high end French and Hungarian oak for 18 months with 100% native malolactic fermentation, the best barrels are carefully selected, benched and compiled. Racked once to tank and gravity feed to bottle."
Price: $24.95

93 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Estate is a great introduction to the quality of this up and coming estate. It has a classic yet approachable style in its orchard fruits, white flowers, and subtle toasty, brioche-scented aromas and flavors. It’s rounded, nicely textured, balanced, and loaded with character." (02/2019) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Aromas of pear, pastry cream, subtle spice and blanched almonds introduce the lovely 2016 Chardonnay from Thomas Fogarty. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied...

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Pinot Noit Estate from Santa Cruz Mountains is a more dark fruit driven effort that has good concentration, plenty of texture, medium to full-bodied richness and classy notes of black cherries, licorice and bouquet garni. It's drinking beautifully today and should keep nicely through 2026. (JD)" (10/2016)
Price: $34.99

Winemaker's notes: "The grapes were hand harvested at 21.5° Brix. The fermentations of this wine were carried out by indigenous yeast and bacteria. It was quite tricky this time around though, it took over two weeks for the juice to start kicking off. One barrel finally started fermenting then some of juice from that barrel was used to inoculate the rest of the barrels. The fermentation of these barrels was not climate controlled in order to blow off fruity esters and lend to a more esoteric white wine. This wine only went through partial malolactic ferm...
Price: $17.95

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Intense aromas of pine, cedar and incense meet with roasted black plum, deep violet and a hint of lavender on the layered nose of this bottling, which includes 16% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec. The woody flavors show on the palate alongside red plums and white pepper, all encased in a chalky texture. (MK)" (12/2018) 91 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Lastly, the outstanding 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Malbec) spent two years in...

If you haven’t yet heard about or tasted the wines from Cole Thomas at Madson, that’s likely because they are so tiny, many of their wines are just a barrel or two! In fact, if you look on their website, almost everything is sold out! However, once you have tasted their wines, you won’t quickly forget them. I think this young winery is crafting some of the most exciting wines in the region. Doing his apprenticeship under Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard’s winemaking legend, Jeff Emery, Cole Thomas makes his Madson bottlings in the same cellar, on Ingalls S...
Price: $22.95

Winemaker's Notes: "A blend of Chardonnay from several vineyards, each in its own distinct micro-climate within the appellation. The wine was barrel- fermented and aged sur lie in Burgundian oak for ten months. This wine displays all the classic Santa Cruz Mountains regional character and complexity for which this area is famous. in 2018 a very long, temperate growing season resulted in fruit that was harvested at an average of 23.7 Brix. Bold with bright flavors and aromas of pineapple, juicy, crisp Pippin apple and mountain pear. Burgundian styled pala...
Price: $24.95

95 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "This beauty offers an almost hypothetical blend of the Skyline and Alpine as it combines the elegance of the former with the power and density of the latter. A spicy and relatively high-toned red pinot fruit, red currant and cherry suffused nose introduces gorgeously detailed, intense and solidly structured flavors that display simply amazing length on the moderately austere finish. This is an admirably serious wine of crystalline purity and flawless balance. *Outstanding*" (10/2011) 95 points Stephen Tanzer's Inte...

95 points Vinous: "The 2016 Chardonnay Monte Bello is a powerful wine. Rich, deep and layered, the 2016 offers a striking mélange of varietal fruit and structure. Tangerine, mint, butter and toasty notes all develop in the glass. More than anything, though, the 2017 is a wine of texture and resonance. I loved it. (AG)" (10/2019)


2016 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Top Pick!
96-98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Monte Bello is stunning, bursting from the glass with aromas of crushed currants, plums, charcoal, sweet spices, black truffle and rich soil. On the palate, it's full-bodied, immensely deep and very concentrated, with an ample core of dark fruit that almost entirely conceals its rich chassis of tannin. The finish is long, tensile and chalky. Eric Baugher observes that 2016 was a drought year but that the vines were less stressed than in 2015, thanks to Spring precipitation, and it wasn't necessary to ...

Winemaker's Notes: "This Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnay is sourced from PM Staiger Vineyard. Planted in 1967, Paul and Margery Staiger have made this own-rooted Wente Clone Chardonnay for 44 years. In 2016, they turned over the farming to Madson and gave us the privilege to make this amazing vineyard into wine. This 2 acre vineyard lies on a rugged hillside in Boulder Creek. The soil is decomposed Monterey schist giving the wine a savory salinity and chalky texture. Immense diurnal shifts helps to retain acidity in the grapes. Once harvested, the fruit i...
Price: $34.95

94 points Vinous: "The 2015 Pinot Noir is fabulous. The decision to use 50% whole clusters, almost by necessity in 2015, resulted in a Pinot that is both rich in fruit and also aromatically lifted, not to mention also quite a bit more expressive of this site and the Santa Cruz Mountains more broadly. Deep and plush, as the wines from this site can be, but not at all heavy, Mindego Ridge's 2015 Pinot Noir is a total knock out. The saline-infused finish offers a compelling counter to the intense, pliant fruit. The whole clusters are very nicely integrated,...


96-98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Monte Bello is stunning, bursting from the glass with aromas of crushed currants, plums, charcoal, sweet spices, black truffle and rich soil. On the palate, it's full-bodied, immensely deep and very concentrated, with an ample core of dark fruit that almost entirely conceals its rich chassis of tannin. The finish is long, tensile and chalky. Eric Baugher observes that 2016 was a drought year but that the vines were less stressed than in 2015, thanks to Spring precipitation, and it wasn't necessary to ...

92 points Wine & Spirits: "The delicacy of this Pinot Noir keeps it airy even as its red fruit saturates the texture and some youthful reductive notes close it off. That green-onion tension gives way to briny notes of seaweed and beach grass, the oak adding a smoky undertone. In 2007, Mount Eden purchased this Saratoga property, formerly known as Cinnabar, and renamed it Domaine Eden. One ridge to the north of Mount Eden, it’s where Jeffrey Patterson now grows this Pinot Noir on a north-facing slope." (04/2019) Vinous: "The 2016 Pinot Noir is a very pr...

This humble estate is run by the husband and wife team of Jim and Judy Schultze, who founded Windy Oaks in 1996. What began as a small, 3-acre venture has now expanded to 30 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Winery Notes: "Very attractive wine and an exceptional value - a great everyday drinking wine. Medium garnet, aromas of cherry candy, underbrush, incense and fir balsam; fuller-bodied, more mouth-coating and deeper-flavored than previous editions of this wine; also more barrel-inflected; aged 17 months, 20% new French oak, 624 cases."
Price: $29.95

Winemaker's Notes: "Richard Alfaro's Vineyard sits at 550' elevation, south-west facing, the soil is composed of mostly sand and stones: mountain erosion being in the lower slopes of the range. Redwoods, coastal shrub and pines fill out the borders. The 2017 vintage saw a historic heat wave in the Santa Cruz Mountains that caused havoc for many beloved sites. However our patch of Alfaro's Grüner Veltliner soaked up the heat and developed some incredible flavors and compelling structure. This Grüner is fresh, racy and spicy, bursting with citrus and orcha...
Price: $24.95

94 points John Gilman: "The 2014 Skyline Vineyard pinot noir is amazingly aromatic for its youth, with all sorts of exotic spice and herb tones wafting from the glass to augment gorgeous fruit and a profound base of soil. The bouquet is flat out stunning, offering up a complex and exotic nose of black cherries, plums, sarsaparilla, just marvelous soil tones, a potpourri of sweet herb tones and a topnote of woodsmoke. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and full-bodied, with a serious chassis of ripe tannin, bright acids and excellent focus and grip on t...

Winemaker's Notes: "This wine is spicy and rich and displays the chiseled elegance of old vine Cabernet refined in French barrel. Vöcal cares for a five acre parcel of 50yr old vines: dry farmed, own rooted and head trained. The vineyard does not look "conventional" but is nonetheless world class. The effects of the drought were still felt in the 2016 vintage and yields were low and fantastic. Cabernet is legendary in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The warmer sites along the famed Monte Bello road soak up the sun and heat radiating from the Santa Clara Valley...
Price: $69.95


92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Aromas of crushed currant, plums and creamy American oak introduce the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, a medium-bodied, succulent wine with a juicy core of fruit, chewy structuring tannins and a flavorful finish. This isn't a Cabernet for those who dislike American oak, but it's nicely balanced and characterful in its style. Moreover, a recently tasted bottle of the 2006 suggests these wines age well. Drink from 2018-2023. (WK)" (05/2018) 90 points Vinous: "Kathryn Kennedy's 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a gorgeous wine ...

Winemaker Ian Brand prides himself in a few things - his 12 in. vinyl record collection and the countless miles he puts on his car scouting out the farthest reaches of California's viticultural landscape. The Bates Ranch is 45 miles south of Palo Alto, and sources top-quality Bordeaux varietals to a number of boutique wine labels in northern California.
Price: $42.95

Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the David Bruce winery has been producing stellar wines since it was founded in the early 1960s. The 2005 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is an elegant expression of rich cherries, cranberries, rose petals, cinnamon and vanilla on the nose with the addition of plum, citrus and toasted pecan on the palate. Fine-grained tannins provide nice structure through to the long, lingering finish. Aged for 15 months in a combination of American, French and Hungarian oak.
Price: $34.99

If you haven’t yet heard about or tasted the wines from Cole Thomas at Madson, that’s likely because they are so tiny, many of their wines are just a barrel or two! In fact, if you look on their website, almost everything is sold out! However, once you have tasted their wines, you won’t quickly forget them. I think this young winery is crafting some of the most exciting wines in the region. Doing his apprenticeship under Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard’s winemaking legend, Jeff Emery, Cole Thomas makes his Madson bottlings in the same cellar, on Ingalls St...
Price: $32.95


94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A totally brilliant Syrah that's reminiscent of a top Côte Brune with its mix of iron, black pepper, violets, and game, the 2009 Rhys Syrah Horseshoe Vineyard starts out dense and tight, but slowly unwinds over the evening to show a firm, yet elegant texture, beautifully integrated acidity, and a classically structured and tannic finish. Despite the slightly masculine profile and structure, this has the fruit to handle it. Give bottles 2-4 years in the cellar and then drink over the following decade or longer. Lovers of Syrah shou...

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Rhys' 2013 Syrah Horseshoe Ranch Vineyard is a downright peppery, gamey, olive and bloody meat-scented Syrah that offers more than a touch of Cornas-like character. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated and balanced, with ripe tannin and a big finish, give bottles 2-3 years in the cellar and drink over the following decade. (JD)" (10/2016) 95 points Vinous: "One of the highlights in this range, the 2013 Syrah Horseshoe Vineyard is superb. A host of cool-climate Syrah aromatics make a strong first impr...

96 points Vinous: "The 2014 Syrah Horseshoe Vineyard is a magical wine. Interestingly, the Syrah shares much with the Pinot off this site in its structural feel and dark flavor profile. Inky blue/purplish fruit, herbs, crème de cassis, spice, lavender and mint are all beautifully delineated. Beams of supporting tannin give the wine its shape and overall intensity, yet the 2014 retains a super-classic, Santa Cruz Mountains feel of almost deceptively mid-weight structure. The 2014 was done with 100% whole clusters. Malolactic fermentation was done in steel...

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Lastly, the 2016 Chardonnay Damiana Vineyard comes from a rocky site located just beside the estate, and it’s one of the more exotic and complex wines in the lineup. Revealing lots of minerality as well as tart citrus and tropical fruit characteristics, it’s medium bodied, has vibrant acidity, good mid-palate depth, and terrific balance. This classic Chardonnay is going to benefit from a year in bottle and it should age gracefully giving it vibrancy." (02/2019) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The most generous and text...

After ten years of studying the history, geography, climate and geology of the Monterey Bay area through their P’tit Paysan and La Marea labels, Ian and Heather Brand started I. Brand & Family to showcase the truly unique vineyard blocks in the region- Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey, and San Benito- which they believe will define their region. These wines are made with special regard for site, intended to intensely showcase place, and each site was selected because of its special location, match of variety to place, and relationship with the history and/...
Price: $74.95

One of California's benchmark estate's for Pinot Noir, Calera is now part of Duckhorn Wines portfolio of exceptional estates. According to the winery, "(the) Mt. Harlan Vineyards are located in the Gavilan Mountains 25 miles east of the Monterey Bay. The site was chosen for its limestone soils and ideal climate. At an average elevation of 2,200 feet it is among the highest and coolest vineyard sites in California."
Price: $74.95


93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard takes shape beautifully in the glass, with layers of bright red fruits, flowers, spices and tobacco. It is an impeccable, polished wine from start to finish. This is one of the wines that shows more stem character than some of the others. A textured, multi-dimensional finish of considerable elegance sets the Mills Vineyard apart. (AG)" (08/2011) 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid red. Deep strawberry and raspberry aromas are complicated by of rose, ci...

96-98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Monte Bello is stunning, bursting from the glass with aromas of crushed currants, plums, charcoal, sweet spices, black truffle and rich soil. On the palate, it's full-bodied, immensely deep and very concentrated, with an ample core of dark fruit that almost entirely conceals its rich chassis of tannin. The finish is long, tensile and chalky. Eric Baugher observes that 2016 was a drought year but that the vines were less stressed than in 2015, thanks to Spring precipitation, and it wasn't necessary to ...