This is a wine that is quite special to me. I’m lucky enough to have winemakers send me their wines, invite me to visit, experience their vineyards. And I’ve discovered some beautiful — and very special — wines this way. But there is a special cubby hole in my heart and in my head I save for those wines I discover alongside my partner on a random excursion into wine country. Savannah-Chanelle had the added benefit of being close to our first home together, which was closer to San Francisco’s South Bay wine country — where the terroir and, thus, the varietal expressions are wholly different.
On Saturday nights we celebrate date night, when, if we have nothing else to toast, we toast each other. So cin-cin and cheers to us…
There are over 200 vineyards located within the Santa Cruz Mountains — but you’d never know it. With the area’s rocky terrain, steep slopes, and endless forest landscape, sprawling fields are less common than in other major wine regions. But its these mountainous characteristics that give Santa Cruz grapes their signature concentration, the wines a certain rusticity. Here, Pinot Noir leaves behind the coastal climate stereotypes, amending itself to something that can be altogether brawny, tannic, and age-able.
As far as California wines go, Pinot Noir is most notably at home in the Sonoma Coast where, even with its varying microclimates, produces Pinots that garner descriptors such as “plush,” “cherry-driven,” “light and bright.” But, alas, we are not in Sonoma any longer, my Totos. We’ve traversed the terrains of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Oh it’s time for another one of my fav boutique winery posts. This time I’m keeping it local with my Silicon Valley Three Arches Winery, celebrating their amazing Meritage. I believe Three Arches’ Meritage was the first of this blend I’d ever had, so, yes it holds a special place in my heart. But after having expanded my wine-tasting world, I have to say that Three Arches’ version not only stands up to, but stands out from the other big players in this field.
I have a soft-spot in my heart for boutique wineries. I swear I can taste how personal the wine is when a humble winemaker produces just a few hundred cases blended out of pure love and joy. Fact. It tastes like…well, love and joy. And I have to pay homage to my hometown boutique winery Three Arches every now and again because they are the very definition of boutique — and love and joy. Today I bring to you Three Arches Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 from the Santa Cruz Mountains. I’m lucky to have tasted it and I’m telling you this right now — only 89 cases produced. So — if you’re a Cab fan, you’re going to want to jump on this.