Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard2004 Pinot Noir, Bailey’s Branciforte Ridge
(Santa Cruz Mountains)
This wine is a miracle. Jeff Emery was betwixt and between, having just parted company with age old partner, Ken Burnap, who had just sold the Jarvis Road property. Jeff admits this was the first wine he crushed in that chaotic season, at Bradley Brown’s Big Basin Vineyards site. The fruit is from a meticulously tended vineyard located off of Branciforte Drive just before Vine Hill Road in the historic Vine Hill winegrowing district. It is around two miles away from the former Estate Vineyard on Jarvis Road and is very similar with respect to elevation, soil and exposure.
Jeff says the first crop was 2003, so 2004 was only the second crop! He can't wait to see what this vineyard will do with 10 or 15 years of production age on it. For this wine, the production was 165 cases. Brix before fermentation came in at around 24.8. As for clones, half the vineyard is 115, half is 667. The Pinot was aged in a combination of French and Hungarian Oak, a combo I find very simpatico with the intense fruit we produce here.
Rewardingly complex, it’s like going through a file cabinet of every berry fruit on the planet: oh, and there’s Earl Grey tea, orange zest, and baked ham. This is not a wine for wimps. The color is huge and gorgeous: the nose is filled with mature notes of tea, raspberry, rhubarb, and cinnamon, and the flavours flood your mouth with lushly textured elderberries, cranberry pecan bars and baked ham with pineapple. Lovely and delicious. Drink up and toast Jeff’s most excellent effort. Or, save it to remember this transformative time.
Reviewed February 12, 2008 by Laura Ness.
Other reviewed wines from Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard
A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.