2019 Martin Ray Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains

2019 Martin Ray Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains

MARTIN RAY

2019 CHARDONNAY
SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS

2019 Martin Ray Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains
Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnays display dense aromas, rich fruit, remarkable intensity, complex minerality, and tantalizing acidity. Martin Ray’s version expresses these distinct characteristics with tropical melon, orange zest, and a leesy, textured mouthfeel that makes the wine, as James Suckling writes, “hard to resist.” 
 
This Chardonnay comes from two 1000ft elevation vineyards on opposite sides of the Mountain and offers a stunning portrayal of the region’s dynamic terroir. Each site shares sizeable diurnal temperature shifts and excellent sun exposure, resulting in powerfully concentrated, expressive berries. 
 
Martin Ray’s winemaking team utilized a technique of stirring the lees bi-weekly during its 12 months aging in French oak. This technique results in a rich, leesy texture that perfectly contrasts the bright natural acidity.
 
MARTIN RAY
2019 CHARDONNAY
SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS
Retails at: $35
 
Your Price: $28
 
 
“Mouthwateringly intense aromas of salted butter and toast. Lemon curd, grilled pear, hazelnut and chalk, too. It’s medium-to full-bodied with tangy acidity and a toasty, saline finish. Hard to resist. Drink or hold. Screw cap.”
93 Points
 
“Ripe Bosc pear, lemon mousse, and grilled pineapple with touches of honey- suckle on the nose. Subtle baking spices, sweetgrass, a hint of quince paste and Tahitian vanilla overlay a broad palate framed by linear acidity and minerality.”
2018 Morgan Twelve Clones Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

2018 Morgan Twelve Clones Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

MORGAN

TWELVE CLONES
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
2018 PINOT NOIR 

2018 Morgan Twelve Clones Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

Dan Lee’s focus on sustainable farming and minimalist winemaking over the past 40 years has made Morgan winery a category leader in high-quality, value wines from the Santa Lucia Highlands. The winery consistently produces balanced wines of distinction, and at less than $30, their Twelve Clones Pinot Noir regularly makes my short-list of California’s best value Pinots.
 
Morgan draws on several of the Santa Lucia Highlands’ top Vineyards, including the Double L Estate, Rosella’s, and Tondre, to create their flagship Twelve Clones Pinot. 
 
The team named Twelve Clones for the diverse Pinot Noir clones inside the Double L Vineyard. The vast selection of clones contributes to the multi-dimensional flavors and aromas that make this wine so revered.
 
MORGAN
TWELVE CLONES
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
2018 PINOT NOIR
Retails at: $35
 
Your Price: $29.99
 
 
“Layers of baked berry, pie crust and star anise show on the nose of this clonal combination. It’s clean and direct on the palate, offering tart red-currant and cranberry fla­vors, touched up by thyme, lavender and potpourri elements.”
92 Points
 
“… the light ruby-hued 2018 Pinot Noir Twelve Clones gives up a pretty nose of framboise and strawberries as well as lots of floral, rose petal, sappy herb, and minty aromas and flavors. It’s another lightly textured, medium-bodied, elegant wine from this estate to enjoy over the coming 4-6 years.”
92 Points
 
“Pale ruby color, fresh cherry nose, crisp and bright with cherry, strawberry and rhubarb notes; silky and fresh, charming and long.” – Anthony Dias Blue, October 2020”
92 Points
 
“The 2018 Twelve Clones demonstrates the finesse of Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands. It displays aromas of blackberry, cola, and cured meat. Flavors of red and black fruit are complemented by notes of black plum and toasty oak. Perfectly poised, this medium bodied wine is light on its feet and a great reflection of 2018’s elegance…”
 
2017 Black Kite Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

2017 Black Kite Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

BLACK KITE

2017 PINOT NOIR
SOBERANES VINEYARD
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS

2017 Black Kite Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
Black Kite Cellars produces highly-textured, expressive Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from exceptional coastal vineyards. For them, wine is a journey that combines high aspirations with a long term commitment, patience, and fortitude. Their journey began in 2003 with the inaugural vintage and led them to Jeff Gaffner, who became their winemaker in 2005. In 2010, it steered them to the Soberanes Vineyard, now producing this extraordinary Pinot Noir. 
 
The wine team forged this remarkable wine from three rows of vines out of the Soberanes Vineyard, planted to the Pisoni Clone. The vineyard is synonymous with excellence and is the latest site developed by the Pisoni’s & Franscioni’s, whose families have been farming the area for over 100 years. 
 
Winemaker Jeff Gaffner gained fame helping make the renowned 1996 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cépages, which became the Wine Spectator’s #1 wine of the year. Jeff fermented this Pinot with Burgundian yeast and performed punch-downs three times daily, contributing to the remarkable textures and flavor extraction of this very special Pinot.
 
BLACK KITE
2017 PINOT NOIR
SOBERANES VINEYARD
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
 
Your Price: $45
 
“Dark aromas of roasted plum, loamy earth, crushed rocks and a hint of shiitake mushroom show on the nose of this bottling. The palate is loaded with earthy flavors of rock and mushroom, set against a backdrop of boysenberry and wild herbs.”
92 Points
 
“Shimmering magenta. Deep-pitched red and blue fruit aromas pick up hints of vanilla and exotic spices with air. Fleshy and subtly chewy on the palate, offering appealingly sweet black raspberry and boysenberry flavors that become livelier through the midpalate. Closes long and spicy, with a repeating vanilla note and steadily building tannins…”
92 Points
 
“Our 2017 Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir is a deeply expressive wine that opens with beguiling bottle brush and sweet tea aromas that give way to a complex core of black fruit, cassis and clove. The rich, round mouthfeel is met with just enough tannic traction to sustain the compelling fruit intensity throughout the long finish. Enjoy upon release or cellar for up to 4-6 years.”
199 Cases Produced
2018 Brevity Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard Monerey County

2018 Brevity Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard Monerey County

BREVITY

2018 PINOT NOIR
MISSION RANCH VINEYARD
MONTEREY COUNTY 

2018 Brevity Pinot Noir Mission Ranch Vineyard Monerey County

 
Comparing Monterey to all of the top growing regions for Pinot Noir in California, their growing area stands out for producing wines with the most forward, succulent fruit. The best will perfectly balance lush fruit, minerality and bright acidity in a way that’s both refreshing and exhilarating to taste. Brevity is a stunning example and at $24, the brevity of this offer requires swift action. 
 
Brevity is a brand new project made by Bobby Moy, who got his feet wet in the wine industry mentoring under Thomas Rivers Brown. They source their Pinot from the Mission Ranch Vineyard, which is the oldest commercial vineyard in the Arroyo Seco AVA. The area is defined by its unique geography resulting from the Arroyo Seco River and its influence from the Pacific Ocean.
 
The 2018 vintage combines three iconic Pinot Noir clones, offering the powerful dark fruits and structure of Pommard, the richness and expressive fragrance of 777, and the concentrated cherry and bright acidity of 115. At $24, I’m getting a case.
 
BREVITY
2018 PINOT NOIR
MISSION RANCH VINEYARD
MONTEREY COUNTY 
Retails at: $28
 
Your Price: $24
 
 
 
“The Brevity Mission Ranch Vineyard Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 is a shimmering ruby color in the glass and begins with a nose of bright red fruits, elegant florals, cola, chalk, and light spice. The palate is medium-bodied yet lush, with cherry liqueur, red raspberries, black tea, cola bean, and hints of vanilla. There is a silky elegance to it that keeps you coming back for more.” 91 Points
2016 Matias Chardonnay Rosella's Vineyard

2016 Matias Chardonnay Rosella’s Vineyard

MATIAS 

2016 CHARDONNAY
ROSELLA’S VINEYARD

2016 Matias Chardonnay Rosella's VineyardHow much would you expect to pay for a Chardonnay from one of the top vineyards in California? Chardonnays from Rosella’s Vineyard average around $50 per bottle, and producers like ROAR, Saxon Brown, and Loring all make Chardonnays from it. Matias perfectly articulates the vineyard’s best qualities, and at $55, the quality is ridiculously high. Of course, few other California Chardonnays can compete.  

Rosella’s vineyard was planted by Gary Franscioni, who’s one of California’s most distinguished growers, having also partnered in iconic sites like Pisoni, Garys’, Sierra Mar and Soberanes. Rosella’s vineyard sits on the Santa Lucia Mountain Range benchlands, and they chose it for its healthy maritime influenced climate and Arroyo Seco sandy loam soils. 
 
Dan Fitzgerald, who got his start working at Williams-Selyem authored this stunning California Chardonnay. The style is unabashedly Californian with super-rich, opulent flavors that span buttered pineapple, candied ginger, lemon meringue, and bright acidity.
 
MATIAS 
2016 CHARDONNAY
ROSELLA’S VINEYARD
Retails at: $55
 
 
 
 
 
“The 2016 Matias Rosella’s Chardonnay offers vivid aromas of green apples, sweet passionfruit, dried flowers and liquid minerals. The palate is full, rich and sultry with flavors of candied pineapple, exotic tropical fruits, key lime pie, butterscotch and sweet vanilla, without being heavy or flabby. These flavors and aromas combine to lead to a very long, balanced, mouth quenching finish.” 94 Points, Kevin M. Vogt, Master Sommelier
 2018 Morgan G-17 Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands

2018 Morgan G-17 Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands

MORGAN 

2018 G-17 SYRAH
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS

 2018 Morgan G-17 Syrah Santa Lucia HighlandsMorgan is one Santa Lucia Highlands’ top producers, and they’ve been around for nearly 40 vintages crafting varietally sound, high-scoring wines that offer stupendous value. Winemaker Dan Lee was San Francisco Chronicle’s Winemaker-of-the-Year in 2003, and his wines continually delight. His new 2018 G-17 Syrah has already earned dual 94 point scores, and at $24, the level of value is nearly untouchable.  

The G-17 Syrah masterfully intertwines fruit from Paraiso, Double L, Tondré, Griva, and Ventana Vineyards into a picture-perfect rendition of cool-climate California Syrah with supple bacon-infused dark fruits, black pepper, and polished tannins. 
 
The 2018 vintage beautifully projects the 94% Syrah and is brightened with 3% Grenache along with 3% Tempranillo. On the palate, the wine offers the perfect amount of lush dark fruits and intriguing smoked meats and spices. At $24, one case won’t be enough. 
 
MORGAN 
2018 G-17 SYRAH

SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS

 
Your Price: $24
 
 
Lively aromas of black raspberry jam on French toast, dark hibiscus, tar and lavender show on the cool-climate nose of this bottling, which includes 3% each of Grenache and Tempranillo. The palate is vibrant with flavors of pepper, lavender and lilac, set against the richer black-raspberry and black-plum backdrop.” 94 Points
 
 
“Deep, lush garnet color with rich fruit nose; silky, lush and juicy with blackberry fruit and toasty oak; spice and good balance; if every Syrah was made with such finesse and style, it would be the most popular varietal.” 94 Points
2018 Belle Glos Las Alturas Pinot Noir

2018 Belle Glos Las Alturas Pinot Noir

BELLE GLOS

2018 PINOT NOIR
LAS ALTURAS 

2018 Belle Glos Las Alturas Pinot Noir
When it comes to the deepest, Inkiest and most extravagant Pinot Noirs, Joe Wagner, founder of Belle Glos is an innovator for this unique style. He launched the brand in 2001 and focused on showcasing Pinot Noirs produced from California’s most noteworthy coastal wine-growing regions.
 
His method of incorporating unprecedented levels (by Pinot Noir standards) of lavish fruits, sweet oak and stacked berries, resonated with wine lovers across the globe. He was involved in the Wagner Family wine business at an early age, taking in valuable lessons from his father, Chuck Wagner, who founded Caymus Vineyards. In July of 2015 Joe split off the value priced Meomi Pinot Noir label from Belle Glos and sold it to Constellation Brands for an eye-popping $315 million…
 
One of my favorites each year hails from the Las Alturas Vineyard, which is perched at 1,200 feet elevation on one of the highest grape-growing benches in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. The vineyard is heavily influenced by coastal fog from the Monterey Bay, and from gusty maritime winds that funnel in from the bay throughout the afternoons, which contributes to one of the longest growing seasons in California, and in turn, allows for a long hang-time and fully developed flavors. If you enjoy BIG, inky and full-bodied California Pinot Noir, along with our best price in years, this one should top your list. 
 
BELLE GLOS
2018 PINOT NOIR
LAS ALTURAS
Retails at: $55.00/btl
 
Your Price: $39.99/btl
YOU SAVE 27%
 
Winery Notes: “Deep garnet in color with an aromatic medley of black cherry, marionberry, ripe plum and a hint of anise. Dark fruit on the palate with flavors of wild berries, caramelized oak and cacao nibs complemented by subtle notes of vanilla, cedar and a hint of lavender and forest floor. Rich and unrestrained, this wine’s abundant fruit is beautifully balanced by firm acidity and layers of red and black fruit.”
2016 Matias Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir

2016 Matias Rosella’s Vineyard Pinot Noir

MATIAS

2016 Matias Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir

2016 PINOT NOIR
ROSELLA’S VINEYARD

 
Anybody that’s tasted the Pinot Noirs from Matias Winery knows first-hand what an incomparable value they offer. Their Pinots exude a truly high-level of class and sophistication, and they do so at such an amazing value, that many others simply cannot compete.  In fact, the average retail price of other Pinots from Rosella’s Vineyard tops $60 per bottle…  Matias bursts from the glass with bright raspberry and dark cherry fruit, liquid floral, spice box and hints of baked earth.  The vineyard was planted by Gary Franscioni, one of California’s most distinguished growers who also owns the iconic Garys’ and Sierra Mar Vineyards, and is partners in the Pisoni and Soberanes vineyards as well.  Wineries like RoarKosta Browne and Loring all make single vineyard Pinots from it, and Matias perfectly articulates the best qualities of the vineyard and at a price that will make you smile.
 
Composed by accomplished winemaker Dan Fitzgerald, who got his start by working at Williams-Selyem, Matias has become one of our most loved and request Pinots in the shop. They’re micro-produced and artisan made in every way imaginable and our only complaint is that there’s never enough to satisfy the growing demand…
 
MATIAS
2016 PINOT NOIR
ROSELLA’S VINEYARD
Retails at:  $65.00/btl
 
 
Winery Notes: “Deep ruby red in color, the bouquet opens with Huckleberry jam and black cherry followed with charcuterie and asian spice. This pinot boasts incredibly concentrated red and dark fruit that lingers, silky textured on the palate. A wine capable of long term aging, every sip offers new nuance.” 197 Cases Produced

2016 Bernardus Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

BERNARDUS

2016 PINOT NOIR
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS

 
What makes Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir unique?  For starters, it’s one of California’s coolest Pinot producing regions and as a whole, it’s even cooler than the Russian River Valley.  This is due to the prominent ocean breeze and fog from Monterey Bay.  Pinot Noir thrives in cooler climates, which allows the grapes to achieve optimum ripeness and flavor development, but also maintain acidity and structure.  For my palate, the best Santa Lucia Highlands Pinots have an idyllic combination of intense plum and cherry fruit, with earthy nuances that keep me coming back for more.  The balanced acidity and dense core make them both delightful upon release, and something to look forward to in the cellar.  The 2016 Bernardus is exactly what I look for in classically styled SLH Pinot Noir and at 33% below retail, I wouldn’t hesitate to secure yours.  
 
The 2016 was created from a collage of specifically selected vineyards throughout the Santa Lucia Highlands with the purpose of creating a picture-perfect Pinot.  Their winemaker Dean Dekorth, is well-versed in Santa Lucia Highland fruit, from making Morgan, David Bruce and Talbott.  He also spent 4 years working at some of Burgundies top producers including Olivier LeFlaive, Comtes Lafon and Pierre Morey.   If you love a great value, and crave exceptional Pinot Noir, this one will leave you grinning… 
 
BERNARDUS
2016 PINOT NOIR
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
Retails at:  $45.00/btl
 
Your Price: $29.99/btl  

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YOU SAVE 33%
Vivid ruby-red. Ripe cherry and red berries on the nose along with hints of licorice and dried flowers in the background. Smooth and fleshy in style showing good energy to the blackberry and bitter cherry flavors. Smooth tannins come in late adding shape to a gently sweet focused persistent finish.90 Points The appellation blend 2016 Pinot Noir SLH Blend is outstanding, offering lots of red fruits and spice, a terrific sense of elegance, medium body, and great balance. It shows the balance and purity that’s the hallmark of the vintage and is ideal for drinking over the coming 6-7 years.” 91 Points
 
Customers that enjoy Bernardus Pinot Noir may also enjoy these two terrific Santa Lucia Highlands Pinots…
2016 Morgan Twelve Clones Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2015 Matia's Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir
MORGAN
2016 PINOT NOIR
TWELVE CLONES
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
Retails at:  $35.00/btl
 
Your Price: $29.99/btl 

Click to Order

 
From Jeb Dunnuck:Moving to the reds, the 2016 Pinot Noir Twelve Clones (aged ten months in 38% new French oak) offers ample black cherry, violet, and scorched earth aromatics, hints of background oak, medium body, and a beautiful fruit forward, balanced, layered style on the palate. It’s a winner.” 93 Points
MATIAS
2015 PINOT NOIR
ROSELLA’S VINEYARD
Retails at:  $65.00/btl
 
 
From Wine Enthusiast:Rose petals, cranberry and dust show on the nose of this bottling, which grows more intense on the nose as it sits open, offering riper fruit. Dried sagebrush and baked earth flavors show on the sip as the red fruit and floral components arise with grace.”  93 Points
2016 Morgan Twelve Clones Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

2016 Morgan Twelve Clones Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

MORGAN 2016 Morgan Twelve Clones Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
2016 PINOT NOIR
TWELVE CLONES
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
 
Odds are, when three top wine critics in the country positively agree on a wine, it will appeal to a broad audience. Yes, taste is  subjective, but truly great wine can transcend subjectivity and appeal to a much wider range of palates, simply because it’s an excellent representation, is perfectly balanced and has a set of indescribable qualities that is compelling for just about any wine lover.  Morgan Twelve Clones has always made my short-list of California’s best value Pinots and the reasons why were abundantly clear at our recent tasting where it outshined multiple Pinots at a much higher price level.  With triple 91-93 point scores and a price that’s fairly easy to swallow (pun, intended), I strongly recommend locking up a case.  
 
When you begin to dig into the specifics on why this wine is such a stunning value, the first thing you might note is that nearly 1/3 of the fruit comes from the winery’s flagship Double L Vineyard and their single vineyard from there rings in at $65.  You might also note the care that goes into crafting this wine, with fruit being hand-sorted, twice… The most obvious reason is unequivocal the moment this wine hits your palate, and you’ll find the multi-dimensional flavors, balanced acidity and supple fruit will induce a smile on even the most discerning palate.
 
MORGAN
2016 PINOT NOIR
TWELVE CLONES
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
Retails at:  $35.00/btl
 
Your Price: $29.99/btl

 Click to Order

YOU SAVE 14%
Brilliant red. Spice-accented raspberry and cherry accents along with hints of woodsmoke cola and Asian spices. Silky and energetic on the palate offering appealingly sweet red berry and floral pastille flavors that deepen slowly as the wine opens up. Fine-grained tannins lend shape to an impressively long mineral- and spice-laced finish that shows excellent clarity and repeating florality.” 91 Points
Aromas of strawberries, tar and light earth follow through to a medium body with fine and light tannins. A floral, watermelon and citrus aftertaste. A pleasing purity of fruit to this. Drink now.”  92 Points
Moving to the reds, the 2016 Pinot Noir Twelve Clones (aged ten months in 38% new French oak) offers ample black cherry, violet, and scorched earth aromatics, hints of background oak, medium body, and a beautiful fruit forward, balanced, layered style on the palate. It’s a winner. 93 Points