2014 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

(7 customer reviews)

$32.64

Out of stock

Average Purchase Price: $28.67

Red fruit, savory, wild, forest, rhubarb, lemon, rose, stones, mineral — complex and subtle aromas. Weightless, long, balanced, lithe texture.

12.6% Alc., 5.1g/L TA, 3.7 pH
Bottled on May 10 2016
190 cases produced

For some years I have been the winemaker for a family who had replanted a venerable vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 2006.  A distinguished vineyard, the land was originally planted with vines during the Civil War and occupies an important historical place in the old guard of California Pinot Noir pioneers.  For three decades beginning in 1975, the wines from this vineyard were made by Ken Burnap and Jeff Emery under the label of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. Prior to that, David Bruce owned the vineyard.

I consider this wine to be a very good Santa Cruz estate Pinot Noir.  We had previously created a second label for U.S. Grant, called General Grant, represented by these 8 barrels.  The remaining 15 barrels of this vintage were bottled as U.S. Grant, which I consider to be a great Pinot Noir.  After 2014, the maturity of this tiny vineyard (around six acres) allowed us to maintain the highest quality without the need for a second label, so we retired the General Grant label.

Harvested at 21.7 Brix on August 18th, 2014, I recall the crunch of firm clusters nipped from the vines.  The marine layer had visited in the night, wetting and chilling everything.  The fruit that morning was so pretty, and I gave it a good bleeding of 15 gallons from each teacup, the unique concrete fermentation vessels the winery had designed and built in the prior year.  That saignée was clear, not even a hint of pigment, and I was worried that the wine would be disappointingly delicate. 

As it often is with pedigreed yet delicate wines, cellar aging brings about transformation:  thin becomes weightless; flavors expand; simple fruit gains complexity.  So it is with this last vintage of General Grant.  The wine is a credit to the vineyard and a simpler expression of the greatness this site attains under the U.S. Grant label.  Other details worth noting:  organically, dry-farmed grapes, wild yeast, whole-cluster cool (<28C) fermentation, 20 months in French oak barrels from the prior vintage, not filtered, bottled directly from barrel.

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What others are saying

  1. 5 out of 5 people found this helpful
    Erich Tupper

    Beautifully balanced. Hints of old world PNs.

    Erich Tupper (verified owner)

    This is a wonderfully balanced wine. Lovely lightness to it like old world wines. Not the hotness that accompanies new world PNs. It has hints and other characteristics which need to develop, which tells me it can be put down for a long time. It has the elegance and architecture of a much more expensive wine. Thank you Bêcheur!

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  2. 3 out of 3 people found this helpful
    Mark swedlund

    silky smooth, rich Pinot taste. We loved it! and we live in the Russian River Valley

    Mark swedlund (verified owner)

    I paid $5 bucks a bottle more than it is now.. but Damn! based on bottle 1, it’s been worth every penny. this is so smooth and clean… my wife’s only caution is “It’s not very quirky, just very classic and classy”

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  3. 2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Karen Michels

    Delicious, balanced. A special wine.

    Karen Michels (verified owner)

    This wine has a floral note that resolves to a lovely minerality. No fruit bomb here. Had it last night with a rich pork chop, and it held up well, but feel it would be equally delicious with a lighter meal. Agree that it’s more of an old-world style of pinot. And ABV under 13? Astounding! I’m ordering more. ONe final note: The packaging is some of the most efficient wine packaging I’ve seen. Secure, but not one more piece of cardboard than necessary. A class act all around.

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  4. One person found this helpful
    Barbara Simons

    We really enjoyed the wine.

    Barbara Simons (verified owner)

    We had it a couple of nights ago with our dinner, and it really enhanced our meal. We strongly recommend it.

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  5. 2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Jeannette Osterloh

    Went back an bought more

    Jeannette Osterloh (verified owner)

    Fabulous pinot – not a fruit bomb but delicate with blueberry being the major flavor on my palate. Mature enough to drink with heavier foods – we paired it with lamb chops and it was fantastic. Had to buy another half case before it ran out!

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  6. 2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Terry Nordstrom

    Nicely balanced, food friendly, PN

    Terry Nordstrom (verified owner)

    Loved the garnet color. Enjoyed two nights in a row and equally good both nights. Loved the minerality, red berries, juiciness.

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  7. 2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Wallace Chane

    "Tell me you bought more than 1"

    Wallace Chane (verified owner)

    Been cooped up at home way too long and figured I’d give this project a try. Opened a bottle the first evening any my wife’s reaction was, “tell me you bought more than 1.” This pinot stacks up to the best new worlds, especially at the spectrum it’s selling at.

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