Today marks the finale for The 12 Days of Pinot Noir. That said stay tuned for some additional Pinot Noir coverage over the next few weeks sometime. Today's finale is another stop in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Soquel Vineyards. This winery was started in 1987 by Peter and Paul Bargetto along with their friend Jon Morgan. Their grandfather was one of the founders of Bargetto Winery which is of course also located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Soquel Vineyards current production stands at around 4,500 cases per year. They focus on Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and of course Pinot Noir. They're recently acquired a vineyard to grow some of their own fruit. This will complement what they currently source locally in the Santa Cruz Mountains as well as in Napa and the Russian River Valley of Sonoma. Today I'll look at two of their current release Pinot Noirs. First up is the Soquel Vineyards 2007 Lester Family Vineyards Pinot Noir. Included in the plantings of this sustainably farmed vineyard are 7 different clones of Pinot Noir. 65% is dedicated to Dijon clones. This offering has an alcohol content of 14.4% and a suggested retail price of $40.
Plum, cherry and berry pie spice notes, including vanilla make up the vibrant nose of this Pinot Noir. Throughout the palate red and black plum flavors play a large role along with wild strawberry and rhubarb characteristics. Sour cherry, earth and an abundance of mineral notes make up the above average finish of this wine. This 2007 releases has firm tannins and everything is framed by excellent acidity.
This is a very even and well balanced Pinot Noir. That along with the excellent overall structure and good length are the things that appeal most to me about this offering. It's tasty enough on its own but will be enhanced greatly when paired with the right foods. Lamb dishes are an obviously excellent choice to match this wine. Whether it's Grilled Lamb Chops or Lamb Souvlaki you can't go wrong.
The second selection from Soquel Vineyards is the 2007 Saveria Vineyard Pinot Noir. This vineyard is farmed by the same folks who tend to Lester Vineyard. alcohol content for this offering is a robust 15.5%. The suggested retail price for this wine is $55.
From the get go everything about the Saveria Vineyard Pinot is a bit more than the Lester. That starts with a darker black cherry hue. Baker's spice notes as well black cherry and blueberry are present in the nose of this Pinot. The palate presents a rich core of opulent fruit. Lots of cherry, blackberry and black plum are underscored by a persistent layer of racy acidity that keeps everything balanced. Cranberry, sour cherry, earth and cola notes make up the memorable finish which lingers on the tongue and back of the throat for a long while. This selection has firm tannins and very good structure.
The Saveria Vineyard Pinot Noir will match up nicely with bigger and bolder than average cuisine for a Pinot Noir. The rich flavors of Wild Boar Ragu will be balanced nicely by the expressive and flavorful fruit this wine features. I was surprised to see the alcohol at over 15%. I didnt notice it until after I'd tasted the wine. Despite that seemingly high number this selection is thankfully not hot in the least. It's got nice balance and will surely drink well for a number of years.
Both of these selection from Soquel Vineyards do a fine job of representing Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot as a whole and their specific vineyard sites as well. These are well worth making an effort to acquire.