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2012 Clos de la Tech "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $50) (Elsewhere $50)
Top Pick!
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Though much lower in price than the single vineyard offerings—and without the microchip on the label—this bottling carries all of the earthy aspects that characterize this iconoclastic winery. Umami aromas of nori wrap meet with dried purple flowers and blackberry on the nose. The mouthfeel is soft and full, with flavors full of loam, beet juice, incense and crushed boysenberry. *Editors' Choice* (WK)" (06/2017) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Starts out juicy and lively, featuring black cherry and raspberry notes at the core. Th...
Price: Hidden

2016 Mindego Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Top Pick!
95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Pinot Noir comes from a great site on the western side of the SCM and was fermented with 40% whole clusters and spent 11 months in 25% new French oak. Deep ruby/purple-colored, with a rocking bouquet of ripe cherries, mulberries, leafy underbrush, blood orange, and spring flowers, it's medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced, layered, and textured. With good acidity, present tannins, and a great finish, it has everything you could want from a Mountain Pinot Noir." (02/2019) 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "...
Price: Hidden

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2017 Chardonnay was aged a year in 20% new French oak barrels and an additional six months in stainless steel. It opens to aromas of toast and baklava—pistachio, honey and pastry—with notes of oats, Golden Delicious apple and baked quince. The palate is medium-bodied, rounded and savory, lifted by citrusy accents and tangy acidity, finishing long, savory and textured. Yum! (EB)" (02/2020) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "Rich and toasty, this wine’s smoky notes and baked-apple flavors meet some tense malic acidit...
Price: $29.95

92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Light raspberry, delicate cotton candy, brisk melon and a hint of citrus show on the nose of this pale rosé. There’s a great zip and tense texture to the sip, where ash and talc flavors meet with rounded red plum, strawberry and watermelon, all sliced by strong acidity. (MK)" (08/2020) Connoisseurs Guide: "79% Grenache; 5% Grenache Gris; 5% Grenache Blanc; 5% Vermentino; 3% Cinsault; 3% other. Fairly light but not lacking in character, the latest Vin Gris de Cigare is a spry and slender, pale-hued pink wine, and its relati...
Price: $14.95

98 points Vinous: "One of the highlights in this tasting, the 2016 Monte Bello has turned out just as beautifully as I hoped it would. Soaring aromatics, bright acids and mid-weight structure give the 2016 a super-classic feel. Clearly, the 2016 is very primary today, with plenty of bright red and purplish berry fruit. More than that, though, the 2016 pulses with energy and simply exceptional balance. Don't miss it! (AG)" (10/2019) 97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Bottled in March of 2018 and a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and ...

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 ...

93 points Vinous: "Big Basin's 2016 Homestead is bold, juicy and super-expressive, with terrific fruit purity and tons textural resonance. Succulent dark cherry, plum, leather, spice and tobacco add layers of nuance throughout. Although not especially complex, the 2016 is super-delicious. Homestead is a blend of Mourvedre, Grenache, Carignane, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon and is Big Basin's entry-level Rhone red. (AG)" (08/2018) 90 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Homestead is a good value and boasts a deep ruby/purple color, lots of blackberry and mulber...
Price: Hidden

Betwixt Wines are makers of wines produced in small lots in San Francisco. Their goal is to create authentic wines that are defined by nature, not humans. By leaving behind preconceptions about what great wines are, they free themselves to create wines that are truly expressive of time and place. Minimalist winemaking techniques are central to their overall approach. Winemaker Tim Telli does as little as possible to the grapes and allows native fermentations to take place after cold soaking periods of up to a week. Wines are gently pressed and then lef...
Price: $39.95

90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Hints of daffodil, bitter orange rind, light yogurt and citrus pith show on the nose of this bottling. The slightly wild palate ranges from richer orange-blossom flavors to tangy citrus peel, also ranging from a tightly woven structure to a broader mouthfeel toward the finish." K&L Notes: From the winery: "Betwixt Wines are makers of intriguing wines produced in small lots in San Francisco. Our goal is to create authentic wines that are defined by nature, not humans. By leaving behind preconceptions about what great wines a...
Price: $29.99

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: "There are three monumental wines in the lineup and the 2016 Pinot Noir Alpine Hillside is one of them. Slightly deeper colored, it tastes like the straight Alpine release, but with the intensity turned all the way up. Thrilling notes of white flowers, forest floor, crushed rocks, and both red and black fruits give way to a medium to full-bodied Pinot Noir that has perfect balance and a layered, powerful, yet incredibly elegant style on the palate. It’s one of the finest Pinot Noir to come from these magical terroirs just south of ...

Jancis Robinson: "Still very deep crimson with some ruby at the rim. Rich, sweet, developed nose. Flattering nose but quite delicate, almost fragile, on the palate. Seems to be drying out a bit? Or perhaps the tannins are just rather aggressive at this stage in its evolution. Seems a little teenage at this point. (JR) 17/20 " (06/2009) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1998 Monte Bello Proprietary Red (a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc) exhibits a ripe nose of sweet oak intermixed with blackberries ...
Price: $169.99

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 ...
Price: $34.95


William Kelley writes: "The gregarious and dedicated Richard Alfaro is quietly making some very good Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at his Corralitos winery, and his modest prices make these true values in the world of California wine. Readers may already know his work, as he's the farmer of Trout Gulch Vineyard, source of Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for Sonoma County-based labels such as Kutch, Ceritas and Arnot-Roberts. But his own wines are well worth a look and come warmly recommended."
Price: $29.95

About this producer: "Alex Krause and John Locke founded Birichino in Santa Cruz in 2008. Drawing on a combined four decades making wine in California, France, Italy, and beyond, they are focused on attaining the perfect balance of perfume, poise, and puckishness. Sourcing from a number of carefully farmed, family-owned, own-rooted 19th and early 20th century vineyards (and a few from the late disco era) planted by and large in more moderate, marine-influenced climates, their preoccupation is to safeguard the quality and vibrance of their raw materials. ...
Price: $39.95

94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh and snappy aromas of boysenberry sorbet and rose petals are also Pinot Noir-like on the nose of this Syrah. The palate is extremely floral, like sipping from a punch of rose petal and violet, with a backdrop of black raspberry and white pepper. It retains freshness for days after opening. *Cellar Selection* (MK)" (06/2020) K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "A 50/50 blend of two personalities of syrah: the extremely cool-climate and coastal Gali vineyard, and the warmer, high elevation Zayante vineyard. These components com...
Price: $29.99

95 points Decanter: "The rocky minerality of the region shows from first sniff through to the lengthy finish. The earthiness is beautifully offset by fleshy red and black fruit, with spice-infused cherry, bittersweet chocolate, espresso and vanilla notes. For all its youthful intensity, the palate is remarkably fresh and bright. Drinking Window 2023 - 2035 (LM)" (07/2018) 94 points Vinous: "Mount Eden's Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the hidden gems, not just in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but in wine more broadly. The 2015 is bold, deep and pungent, with ...
Price: $89.95

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

94 points John Gilman: "The 2013 iteration of Family Farm pinot noir from Rhys Vineyards is an utterly suave and classy bottle of young pinot, with a black fruity personality, tons of soil signature and outstanding structural integrity that will carry it far into the future. The simply gorgeous bouquet jumps from the glass in a complex blend of sweet dark berries, woodsmoke, espresso, stony soil tones, sarsaparilla, fine herbs and a gentle touch of new wood. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very soil-driven in personality, with a great cor...
Price: $74.99


94 points Wine & Spirits: "In a southeast-facing set of limestone hills, Mills Vineyard often yields warm and spicy fruit. In 2016 it grew a savory, generous pinot, the fruit cradled in scents of creosote and bay laurel, oak and spice, and draped in fine tannins; for pheasant. " (04/2020) 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Wild cherry, thyme, sagebrush and light bay leaf aromas converge on the nose of this bottling, which is relatively mellow to start but opens considerable with patience. Roasted cherry, cherry-pit and juniper flavors align on the palate, whi...
Price: $74.95

95 points Wine Enthusiast: "Less than one-third of a ton per acre came off of this nearly 35-year-old vineyard from this drought-addled vintage, but what made it to bottle is quite amazing. Aromas of earthy thyme, sagebrush, wild black cherry and cocoa are layered and elegant. The palate is rich and thoroughly engaging in flavors of roasted tomato, mulberry and purple flower. (MK)" (02/2019) 94 points Wine & Spirits: "From a southeast-facing parcel planted on limestone in the mid-1980s, this feels warmer than the wine from Ryan (also recommended in thi...
Price: $139.95


92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Alesia Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains is superb, unfurling in the glass with notes of fresh pear, preserved citrus, lemon oil and a light framing of smoky reduction. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, concentrated and tensile, built around a racy line of acidity and concluding with a saline finish that's almost searingly stony. This represents a notable change of pace after the more rounded, giving Anderson Valley Alesia bottling and marks this out as one of the keenest values in the Rhys portfol...
Price: $39.99

Winemaker's Notes: "Alpine strawberry, peach blossom, and garrigue define the nose of this pale-salmon rosé. The nose is exuberant with the characteristic fireworks of Grenache, accented by dried herbs and wet stones. On the palate the wine is dry, balancing crisp, mouthwatering structure with luxurious weight and texture. The complex fruit character and long mineral finish of this wine hint at the pedigree of it's provenance. Perched high atop the southeast corner of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, the steep slopes and shallow, gravelly soils of Bate...
Price: $24.95


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 ancient vines. These are family-owned vineyards planted in the late 19th- and early 20-centuries, each one a time capsule of the wine history of the Golden State. The Besson vineyard, farmed by the same family for the past 94 years, is the source of the St. George's Old Vine Zinfandel. From a dry-farmed parcel planted 1922 at the feet of the Santa Cruz mountains, this wine is a consummate exa...
Price: $22.95

Winemaker's Notes: "Bright and ruby red in color, the aromas of this cuvée leap from the glass with notes of morello cherry, pomegranate, and chipped shale. Rose petals and vanilla dance in the upper register as the wine opens up. A barrel selection chosen for it's youthful readiness, the palate is supple yet refreshing, framed by a balance of silky structure and bright red-fruit expression. The finish is long and smooth, with all elements in harmony."
Price: $34.95

94 points Wine Enthusiast: "The nose on this bottling blends savory depth with floral lightness, combining sandalwood, seared Meyer lemon peels, butterscotch, hot sandstone and flashes of honeysuckle on the nose. Sea salt and nectarine lead toward marshmallow and wood in the finish, wrapped in a structure that's firm but seamless. (MK)" (10/2019) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chardonnay Estate opens with red pear and apple, spring honey, hay and fresh almonds with hints of orange blossom, lemon pith, stone, toast and white peaches....

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...
Price: $49.95

2017 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Top Pick!
Winery notes: "Saturated purple in color. Aromas of cassis, blueberry, cola, licorice, and sweet oak. Ripe blackberry fruit entry, full bodied, rich textures, exotic spice roasted coffee, and toasted oak aftertaste. Complex, long, sensuous finish. 100% air-dried American oak barrels; (48% new, 31% one year-old, 21% two years-old). Hand-harvested, estate-grown grapes; destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur (35ppm at crush, 109 ppm during aging); pad filtered at bo...
Price: $59.95


95 points Decanter: "It was Jeremy Seysses of Burgundy’s Domaine Dujac who alerted me to the amazing things that Kevin Harvey and his team at Rhys are doing, and that seems appropriate as the wines certainly seem to nod to Dujac’s style. The 2013 Alpine Vineyard Pinot Noir is one of the most compelling young wines I’ve tasted from Rhys. Its youthful and savoury bouquet of crisp red and black cherry, fresh herbs, cinnamon and rich forest floor is followed on the palate by a wine of impressive vibrancy and depth. Rhys wines are built for the cellar, and th...

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Pinot Noir has a pale to medium ruby-purple color and notions of eucalyptus, forest floor, cool blueberries, raspberry and sweet strawberry preserves with prosciutto, faint hints of dried herbs, wild blackberries and an orange peel note. The palate is light to medium-bodied with an intense core of perfumed fruit, a soft, grainy frame and juicy acidity, finishing with pretty berry notes. (EB)" (02/2020) 92 points Wine & Spirits: "The delicacy of this Pinot Noir keeps it airy even as its red fruit satura...
Price: $39.95

90 points Vinous: "The 2015 Chardonnay Trout Gulch is another rich, intense wine. Here, the low yields of vintage blur the personality of the site. There is some underpinning of the salinity that makes the wines from this site so distinctive, but this is a freakishly ripe Chardonnay from Arnot-Roberts. Orange peel and exotic spice notes add to the wine's eccentric feel. The fruit was also picked a bit later than normal, because the acidity was too high for the wine's sugar ripeness. As a result, the alcohol is also a bit high by Arnot-Roberts standards. ...
Price: $49.99

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "'It's very unusual for us to release this so early,' Jeffrey Patterson explains. 'We are releasing it sooner than usual because it's a great value for wine lists, sort of our mid-appellation wine.' This vintage, the blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petite Verdot and 1% Malbec. Medium to deep ruby, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has a very minerally nose of crushed stone, dusty earth, warm red cherries, woodsmoke and savory/herbal hints with notions of charcuterie, warm blackberries,...
Price: $44.95

94 points Vinous: "Orange rind, graphite, pine, mint and crushed rocks jump from the glass in the 2012 Pinot Noir Home Vineyard. One of the more vibrant, chiseled wines in the range, the Home will benefit from further time in bottle. The translucent, crystalline finish is a thing of beauty. In this vintage, the Home was done with 100% whole clusters. Quite remarkably, the Home Vineyard lies just 400 yards away from Family Farm, separated by the San Andreas Fault, yet the wines from these two sites are completely different. (AG)" (07/2014) 93 points Rob...

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2018 Pinot Noir Integrato is a barrel selection aged ten months in 20% new French oak. It's pale to medium ruby with lovely scents of rose petals, strawberry and raspberry preserves, rhubarb, pomegranate and crushed red and black cherries with accents of loam, peppercorn and prosciutto. Medium-bodied, it explodes with red berries flavors and oodles of earthy accents. It has a grainy texture and excellent freshness, finishing long and very flavorful. Yes! (EB)" (02/2020) K&L Notes: Winemaker's notes: "Sourc...
Price: Hidden

Winemaker's Notes: "Late on a Sunday night during harvest in September 2017, John got a text with an offer we couldn’t refuse. The patriarch of the Ray family, retired Stanford botanist Peter Martin Ray, was offering us some fruit. His vineyard, located in the Chaîne d'Or of the Santa Cruz Mountains, is one of the most celebrated neighborhoods in California winedom, with a history to match. The original cuttings were sourced from 19th Century plantings of Dr. Emmett Rixford and Paul Masson, from whom Peter’s late father, the winemaking iconoclast Martin ...
Price: $74.95



Ian Brand was the San Francisco Chronicle's 2018 Winemaker of the Year From the SF Chronicle's review of the 2016 Bates Ranch Cabernet Franch: "Bates Ranch is in the fascinating Redwood Retreat neighborhood of Gilroy, sits at the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Brand makes a deeply savory wine from these half-century-old vines, with aromas of sage and bay life, lightly grippy tannins and a hint of sharp, spicy pepper among warmer fruit flavor."
Price: $44.95


95 points Vinous: "The 2016 Syrah Horseshoe Vineyard is incredibly elegant and finessed. Aging in 25HL cask give the Syrah striking translucence and energy, with less bombastic fruit than in the past, and far greater nuance. Crushed red berry fruit, rose petal, mint and sage are all lifted by the 100% whole clusters, while firm yet well-integrated tannins give energy and cut. I can't wait to see how the 2016 ages. The 2016 spent 28 months in oak. (AG)" (10/2019) 94 points John Gilman: "The 2016 Horseshoe Vineyard Syrah from Rhys Vineyards is outstandin...
Price: $99.99

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "As always, the 2016 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard is the most masculine and mineral-driven, with an exotic bouquet of white flowers, iodine, crushed rocks, and stone fruits. Reductive, concentrated, and powerful on the palate, with medium to full-bodied richness, it’s a brilliant vintage from this vineyard and is a world-class Chardonnay in every way." (02/2019) 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2016 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard offers up aromas of pear, grapefruit pith, iodine and fresh nutmeg. On the palate, it's ...
Price: $99.99

97 points Vinous: "Even better than it was from barrel, the 2016 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard is a flat-out stunner. Crazy, beautiful, deeply spiced aromatics literally explode from the glass. Broad and ample on the palate, with tremendous intensity, the Horseshoe has a lot to offer. Orange peel, mint and spice overtones add an exotic flair. This is an utterly captivating Pinot Noir from Rhys. (AG)" (08/2018) 96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard offers a more savory, mineral style as well as terrific depth of fruit. Lots of c...

Winery notes: "Saturated purple in color. Aromas of cassis, blueberry, cola, licorice, and sweet oak. Ripe blackberry fruit entry, full bodied, rich textures, exotic spice roasted coffee, and toasted oak aftertaste. Complex, long, sensuous finish. 100% air-dried American oak barrels; (48% new, 31% one year-old, 21% two years-old). Hand-harvested, estate-grown grapes; destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur (35ppm at crush, 109 ppm during aging); pad filtered at bo...
Price: $34.99


95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Ruby-red. Explosively perfumed cherry-cola, dark berry liqueur, incense and mineral aromas show superb clarity and depth, with a sexy floral quality building with air. Offers palate-staining black raspberry and spicecake flavors that become sweeter and deeper with air. This rich but strikingly lithe and tensile pinot deftly plays power and depth off of vivacity and finishes sweet, youthfully tannic and extremely long. One of the most impressive Pinots I've tasted from the New World, or Burgundy for t...

97-100 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Lastly, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello is a rough blend at present and is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc. This is a rich, powerful version of this cuvée and boasts a black/blue color as well as a huge nose of crème de cassis, graphite, crushed rocks, and lead pencil shavings. With some serious structure, full-bodied richness, and a fleshy, opulent texture, this massive Monte Bello is going to be one for the ages." (02/2019) 98-100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Des...

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