|2018 Saint Laurent|
This grape has very tight clusters and does poorly in humid climes like France, preferring high altitude where dry air and high UV suppress mold. It is widely planted in Austria and is the principal red grape of the Czech Republic, where it is known by its German name, Sankt Laurent. It matures very early, near the martyrdom date of Saint Lawrence of Rome, who was executed by Emperor Valerian on August 10 of the year 258 AD. This early harvest date is ideal for the short seasons of cool continental climates, resulting low alcohol. 2014 was a cold year, so there is more acidity and palate life here than the previous vintage, and the nose is brighter.
|2018 Petit Verdot|
Petit Verdot is the ink of Bordeaux. Though an essential element of their blends, rarely is it employed at more than 2%. At this level, it imparts lush, refined tannins without overpowering the blend. At higher proportions, it obscures complexity and nuance, offering little aromatic interest of its own.
|WineSmith 2018 Norton|
Although most wine experts confine their expertise to the European Vitis vinifera varieties, there are almost 100 other Vitis species, some of which make very good wine.
Dr. Norton was a 19th century breeder who crossed a wild Virginia Vitis aestivalis with an unknown parent to produce one of the most respected and widely produced reds in the U.S., with over 500 wineries offering examples.
|2018 Grenache Dry Rosé|
There is, in my view, no other region in California that compares to the Santa Cruz Mountains for producing wines of distinctive terroir expression. Something about its mountain soils and mix of sandstone and greenstone, plus the lush surrounding herbs that encircle its tiny vineyards and impart their own distinctive “air-oir” gives each vineyard a unique stamp. The area is moderated by heavy Pacific influence but also lifted above the fog so that it enjoys plenty of cool direct sunlight, the perfect recipe for the grape to express itself.