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Santa Cruz Mountains
The wine has a dark ruby red core moving to light garnet hues on the rim. The nose is well balanced and highly perfumed with the classic Santa Cruz Mountain aromatics we all adore. The nose has aromas of minty redwood, wild sage, and porcini mushrooms. The palate is nearly full bodied with earthy and sanguine flavors. This wine is delicious now and ideal for drinking upon release and over the next 3-5 years. I anticipate this wine will peak between 2024 and 2026, if kept in a cold dark place it will age longer. If drinking now decanting is not needed, but in my opinion serving temperature is key. Ideally serve in large Burgundy stems at cellar temp or just above depending on your preference (55-65F).
The Beauregard Ranch vineyard site was part of an original 160 acre vineyard and apple orchard planted in the early 1900’s. The vineyard was abandoned during prohibition and then resurrected in 1949 when retired Sherrif’s deputy Amos Beauregard purchased the property. It sits at an elevation of 1700 to 1850 feet on a southwest facing slope. Monterey Bay marine influences combine with sandy loam soil to produce wines with minerality and striking acidity. Plantings: Four acres Pinot Noir, clones: Pommard, 667 & 115. One acre Chardonnay, clone 4. Three acres Zinfandel, clone Primitivo. Four acres Cabernet Sauvignon, Dijon clone.
Vintage started Labor Day weekend amidst the most severe heat spike in my memory. Harvest started roughly one hour before dawn and lasted hours past dusk. I was able call on a farmer friend whom I have known since childhood to line up extra pickers. Over Labor Day weekend we had a picking crew of 65 men and women. We picked 84 bins of Pinot Noir over two days which is something I did not think was possible. My commitment to crafting a specific kind of wine forced me to pull in the crop fast to avoid potential damage to the fruit. Many vineyards were destroyed by the heat. On that weekend the winery transformed from quiet to chaotic like a bomb went off. The temperatures on the crush pad sustained 110 degrees for roughly 3 full days. It was beyond miserable when you take into account we had to work at a sprinting pace the whole time to bring in the fruit and we had no cover from the sky, just our sun hats and t-shirts. The following week we moved in on Chardonnay. The heat spike did no favors for the Chardonnay either. The brix (percentage of fermentable sugar - 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution) quickly rose from 19 brix to 22 brix in one week which I have never experienced. Our intention is to make a fresh, acidic, and mineral driven wine so we had to move swiftly on this harvest too. Our press ran 12 hours a day for several days to complete the juicing of the Chardonnay.